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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 09:15 GMT
Now mini ref Collina for Subbuteo
Pierluigi Collina - Subbuteo figure and the real thing
|t took two attempts for Mr Taylor to make a figure he was happy with
A table football shop that designed the first streaker for Subbuteo players has now immortalised the world's most famous referee.

Shop owner Tom Taylor, from Knighton, Powys, has sold around 40 mini versions of the instantly recognisable Italian official Pierluigi Collina.

Mr Taylor said Subbuteo did not sell sets of refs, so he stepped in.

Over the seasons he has been asked to reproduce some of the world's top football stars including David Beckham.

His set of UEFA mini-size referees comes with Collina, two assistants - one with flag raised the other with flag down - and one with a timing board raised above his head.

Collina is regarded as the world's most respected and experienced football official.

His distinctive appearance and pose, of whistle raised and arm outstreched, makes him instantly recognisable.

My first attempt didn't look like Collina at all, well, he had a bald head - that was about it
Tom Taylor

"I had people coming into the shop asking if I sold a Collina figure," said Mr Taylor, 52.

"After a few times I decided to make one as Subbuteo don't sell sets of refs, although they sell individual referees.

'Coloured braids'

"My first attempt didn't look like Collina at all, well, he had a bald head - that was about it."

He added: "I needed to recreate the famous stance of arm outstretched and whistle in mouth - something that's always associated with Collina."

"My second attempt was a success and I've sold about 30 or 40 Collinas since the beginning of the year."

Over the years Mr Taylor has recreated several top flight footballers as well, including David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Wayne Rooney.

"They're only three quarter inch high models so the people your working on have to be recognisable," said Mr Taylor.

Pierluigi Collina and Wayne Rooney Subbuteo figures
No nonsense - Mr Collina steps in to deal with Wayne Rooney

"I've enjoyed working on David Beckham, although I've had to keep up with his hairstyles. I made Arsenal striker Thierry Henry because he pulls his socks up to his knees.

"Dutch international Edgar Davids was a nice one because he wears glasses to play in. Taribo West, the Nigerian international, was also a good one because he has coloured braids in his hair."

As for the streakers, Mr Taylor said he had sold about 7,000 so far.

The male and female streakers even come with chasing policemen - in miniature again of course.

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27 Jan 00 |  UK
Streaker joins Subbuteo
26 May 04 |  Mid Wales

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