As today sees the start of another new Premier League season, our minds were taken back to the equivalent weekend years gone by when as kids we'd be ready and waiting to finally start using our Shoot! League Ladders.
For anyone that doesn't remember, League Ladders were a simple device. Essentially the main part consisted of a thin piece of cardboard with slits cut into it, on top of which was printed the empty league tables for England and Scotland. Into the slits you'd slot some thin cardboard tabs that displayed the names of all the English and Scottish league clubs. As the league tables changed each week, it was your job to pull out the tabs and place them in the right slots to show each team in their new position.
The process of updating your very own full colour league table display was addictive and hugely enjoyable up until, ooh, the third week of the season, by which time the novelty of rearranging 130 small pieces of cardboard had dramatically worn off.
And that was if you had a full set of tabs, by the way. Such was Shoot's ingenious ability to nurture your excitement for the new season (and for increasing revenue), they'd only give away two divisions worth of team tabs every week, thereby meaning you had to buy Shoot for four consecutive weeks to get them all. Chances are you'd fail to get a copy of Shoot for at least one of those four weeks, thereby leaving an aching chasm of emptiness where Queen of the South should be. Maybe that wasn't such a bad thing, actually...
Anyway, now you know what League Ladders were all about, it's time to show you what they might have looked like had they been available 100 years ago, just before the start of the 1913-14 season.
|Click for larger version|
As you can see, we've tried once again to be as authentic as possible when it comes to the admittedly minimal styling (give or take the occasional bit of indulgence here or there), and rest assured the details and team colours shown are as accurate as we could get them.
Better still is the fact that if you download the PDF version of the graphic here and print it out onto thin A3 cardboard, you could have your very own working version of our 1913-14 League Ladders. All you need to do is cut out all the tabs and cut the slits where marked, and bingo - more post-Edwardian fun than an entire DVD box set of Downton Abbey. Enjoy.