Know this thread has been dead for a while but I played a number of Football PBM's back in the day (late 80's).
The king of these, the benchmark against which all other must ultimately fail was Complete Football.
Set in div 4, I was the manager of Crewe Alexandra.
You got a print out of your squad, each player had a pen note, For example, and this is dragged out of my memory over 20. There were no player ability stas that you ever saw as a manager.
Paul Norton RM/CM
Product of youth team who broke into the first team last season. Looks to have a bright future ahead.
Paul Beagle CF
Paul has struggeled to hold down a first tean place, powerfull and pacey he has failed to convert his chances. Crowd were on his back by the end of last season, this is a big season for the young player.
and so on.
But here was the beauty of the game.
The players had personalities, they argued with you, they goy upset, they were loyal, ambitious, agressive, low on confidence etc, etc. Whats more your chairman had expectations and a personality as did the reporters who wrote up the games and the referees who reffed.
Fans let you know if they were happy and local and national journalests contacted you with questions.
The match report was 2 pages of text, written by the DM (in the gise of one of three reporters each with a different style and philosophy on football)about your game, you picked your team, gave each player instructions and pep talks i.e."Paul you are on the right today, push up to support X but watch out for Y, go for it and have a dig at goal" you gave a team talk to motivate the team, you had named scouts and coaches who would talk to you. you asked your assistent manager about your players.
A magic game, magic memories.
I can still remember the envelope popping through the door every two weeks, I remember one morning bunking off 6th form, walking to the seafront with the evelope unopend in my bag. Sitting down opening the envelope and reading. I used to use another page so I could not see the next line in case there was "GOAL" in capitals below. That morning was a cup game against Peterborough, my goalkeeper was impeded on the line and a stiker called Bradelly scored the only game knocking me out in the 2nd round. 23 years on and still clear memories.
What is sad is that as far as I can see there is no reference to this game anywehere on teh web. Sure it was small, about 60 players at its max but it was special.
Was run by a guy called Rob Fraser, he did every turn, wrote every game.