On 1 September 1992, the first Championship Manager video game hit store shelves. The series has since become one of the most successful in UK history.
The game, written by brothers Paul and Oliver Collyer, was first released on the Amiga and Atari platforms, but soon moved to PCs. Pitched as "the most realistic football management simulation ever," it allowed players to manage teams from the top four divisions in English football through the league and cup competitions (including European tournaments).
It initially drew criticism for the lack of graphics, which resulted from the game's focus on managerial decisions instead of match play, but later versions allowed the user to watch the matches unfold. One version, Championship Manager 4, became the fastest-selling PC game of all time in the UK.
The Collyer brothers formed their own company, Sports Interactive, to develop the game. In 2004, a split with publisher Eidos Interactive resulted in the Collyers and SI losing the rights to the Championship Manager name. They formed a partnership with Sony and began a separate franchise under the name Football Manager. The two games now compete against each other.
In the summer of 2012, in honor of the game's twentieth anniversary, BackPage Press published a book titled Football Manager Stole My Life.