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You would have thought there was an important football coming up tomorrow (soccer to those of you from across the Atlantic), so for a bit of fun I gathered together a handful of pens to represent each side, along with suitable inks (with caveats). Some of these pens were already in my daily rotation/desk set, and some were an excuse to use up some samples I have taking up space.

Note the pens were randomly lined up for the photos and the text ordered to match that, there is no specific reason behind the positions within the teams.

For the Three Lions:

Helix Oxford filled with Helix Oxford Blue. I might have bought this pen for the ‘pens for a fiver‘ test however rather than being a planned PIF I’m probably going to keep it and {spoiler alert} to my surprise in a blind test, on passing it around non-fountain pen users they all rated it highly.

John Twiss Burl filled with Diamine Ancient Copper. John is a stalwart of the British pen making scene and has moved from being a regular at the UK pen shows to now one of the people running them. Then pen was filled for this team with the perfect ink to represent the troubled top football player, an ink that flows well, looks stunning, but then gums up pens and suffers from gunk.

Yard-O-Led Astoria Grand filled with Robert Oster Champions & Heroes. OK so the ink may have been made by an Australian but it was ordered by a British store (iZods) to celebrate and raise money for the doctors, nurses, and staff of the NHS who have given their all during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pen was filled for this piece.

Onoto Magna Classic filled with Diamine Earl Grey. Can’t get much more English than this (ok so the Onoto factory was in Scotland for about 20 years, but now they are made in Norwich) and we have on record a certain Winston Churchill asking his wife to pick up another for him as he had lost his – this was during the Boer War it should be noted, so before he entered politics. This pen is in my carry set.

Bespoke British Pens Conway Stewart Churchill filled with Diamine Imperial Blue. BBP are the one company who have permission to use the Conway Stewart name, for while CS did go bankrupt their name and branding are still owned. We’ll ignore for a while that in the past that Conway Stewart actually had Australian owners. Pen was inked up to use a sample.

For the Azzurri:

ScriBo Feel Zucca filled with Monteverde Green. If I’d done this compilation last week then the ink would have been Italian as well as it was loaded with Montegrappa Violet. This pen is a regular at my desk and so had to be included regardless of the ink it was filled with.

Delta Dolcevita Oro Stantuffo filled with Delta Blue. Inked up to use a sample, this pen does look good, as all Italian things should, how it performs on the day is another matter šŸ™‚

Nettuno 1911 Black Sands filled with Delta Green. A pen that’s been sat on the side lines while pushing to be brought on to the field. Inked up to use a suitable sample.

Visconti Caput Mundi filled with Graf von Faber Castell Indian Red. Another in use pen, as it is part of my carry set, and so comes with the ink it was filled with.

Leonardo Momento Zero filled with Leonardo Purple. A stalwart for many moons of my carry to work collection I’m not sure why this pen seemed to have been relegated to the bench. Still a sample needing to be used gave me the perfect excuse to ink it once more.

The Referee:

Representing Bjorn Kuipers from the Netherlands…

Powerful Signature filled with Akkerman/Diamine SBRE Brown. Sure the pen and the ink were made in England but the pen maker and ink bottler are both Dutch, on top of which the ink was made in conjunction with every fountain pen fan’s favourite Dutch psychologist, Dr Stephen Brown.

Apologies to those left on the substitute benches, including for England: Den’s Pens, Worcester Pens, & Manuscript and for Italy: OMAS & Stipula. I realised too late I could manage 11 v 11 though that would have resulted in a lot of wasted ink (plus I’m not sure I have 6 additional Italian inks).