Sitting here now on a Friday I cast my mind back to when Friday meant one thing………
Yes, Friday was the gateway to a whole weekend consumed by playing Championship Manager on my trusty Amiga 600
As you have no doubt heard from thousands of other CM addicts from around the world, CM could dominate your life like no other game possibly could.......
CM was a game that you had to set aside at least 4 hours of your life, there was no dabbling in CM or "casual play", it was an all or nothing kind of game.
Championship Manager as we know is essentially a massive spreadsheet of player stats and yet the illusion that you are somehow controlling these players actions was the draw.
You would spend hours of your life pulling together your very own elite dream team of players.
The gameplay on the Amiga was simple compared to the ridiculously complex gameplay of todays version of CM.
That was the key though, you could literally play a season in an evening because once you'd set your team up and bought who you wanted you could pretty much play match after match after match…….
The CM version that dominated my life was Championship Manager 93/94
The Disk for this game barely left my disk drive. The only time it left my drive was to put in my save disk.
Back then you were presented with a couple of questions when you loaded up the game and these were something like
"What Is The 3rd Score On Page 21 of the manual"
This was put into place as an anti piracy measure for those naughty people who had copied their mates CM disks (not as complex as the Monkey Island 2 wheel but almost as effective.)
My team of choice back then was Nottingham Forest (even though I support Tottenham Hotspur) Forest were a strong team in the Premier League back then and I had always admired their passing style of play.
Once you started the game that was it, you'd launch into the main task of signing players.
Back then it was all about signing Chris Bart Williams or Robbie Fowler as they were young, up and coming superstars of the time!
There was a guy called Poddubski in my version who had the holy grail of CM Stats ….. ALL 20's!
Championship Manager Stats were made up of the following categories:
My Forest team played together for 15 seasons and by the team I had rolled around to season 15 the team was full of player regens with unrecognisable names such as Johnny Hoddle and the like.
CM was the first game that really stole hours from me as one minute you'd check the clock and it was 8pm and then before you knew it, it was 2am and you'd utter the immortal phrase
"Just One More Match…….and then BED!"
Wedged between playing real football and CM my weekends were consumed with the game.
Breaks came in the form of meals as my mum would shout up to me in my loft bedroom to tell me when dinner was ready.
This was well before the days of games asking you whether you have thought of taking a break from playing (like the good old Wii tends to do)
One of my favourite past times though, had to be the Championship Manager Hot Seat 2 player Game……..in other words a 2 player CM game where you take it in turns to manage your club.
The hotseat games would mean that you were competing for the same transfer deals more often than not and it made it even more realistic as you battle it out in the same league together. These were good times!
When Sunday came I had plenty of stories to tell my mates at school and sometimes I'd actually print out my Nottingham Forest Team to show off my average ratings and scores in Cup Finals.
These truly were the glory days of Championship Manager!
DID YOU KNOW?
"The Championship Manager '94 - End of Season Data Disk, which was available on the Amiga, contained 2 fictional players added by a couple of people who worked on the game. The players were Mark Collis and Ferah Orosco. They were a striker and a defender, respectively, for Cambridge United in Division 3 and are regarded as the first ever fictional super-players in the CM series"
The online community for the early versions of CM are still very much active so take a look at some of these cool sites for your CM fix…
Firstly There's The Story Of The Champ Man 01/02 Community HERE
Then There's The Actual Champ Man 01/02 Community Forums HERE
Then there's the legendary "The Dugout" site HERE
Not only that, why don't you get on over to MY ABANDON WARE and download the original CM 93/94 game and get playing!