Over 20 years ago, on Friday 25th February 1994 at approximately 9.30pm (after Scouts) two pairs of brothers sat down round a kitchen table in Ellingham, Suffolk, to begin the first ever super fantasy premiership auction.
The four participants were Matthew and Nicholas Jermy, with friends Colin and Ian Brown. Colin ‘Chubby’ Brown insisted that they had his favourite Friday Night comedy ‘Red Dwarf’ on in the background.
The chosen auction list came from a copy of the Sunday Telegraph sports pages, handed to 14 year old Matthew during the previous Christmas holidays by a 12 year old Ross Peggs. Young Peggs had enthused Jermy Senior about a national Fantasy Football League he had entered, and thought that our small band of friends should join in and compete against each other.
At a similar time, Fantasy Football League with David Baddiel and Frank Skinner had started broadcasting on BBC2, and in their format of the game celebrities had auctioned off a list of premier league players, so each player could only belong to any one manger. Jermy Senior decided that it might be something these two sets of brothers could experiment with, and so the super fantasy premiership was born.
At the first auction, the four boys were only required to buy a starting XI, with the auction list ranged by positions and then by teams alphabetically. With £20m each, the very first player to be bought was X by X for £xm. The biggest signings of the night were Ryan Giggs and Alan Shearer, bought for £5m by Ian Brown and Nick Jermy respectively.
On the following day, Saturday 26th February 1994 the season began. With quite simply 4 points for a clean sheet, minus points for goals conceded, 2 points for an assist and only 3 for a goal, the first weekend of scoring finished with Matt’s Magicmen on top of the pile with 10 points. Brown’s Boys would go on to lead for most the season.
2 weeks later, a 5th team joined the league, when school friend and fellow Ditchingham Juniors FC midfielder Chris Tedore heard of the league and was keen to enter. His side, Tottenham Town never got off the bottom of the league.
Fast forward 11 weeks and in a dramatic final day of scoring, and thanks to Wimbledon duo Fashanu and Holdsworth, Matt’s Magicmen re-claimed top spot and claimed the first sfp championship title.