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The Ball 2002 is kicked over the Great Wall of China on its way to Korea & Japan

Month: March 2002

Kicking Off

Kicking off to Korea
Kick off to Korea

The Ball leaves England – the start of its epic journey to Korea & Japan.

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Match Report

Dark 4 : Light 6 (a.e.t.)
played at Battersea Park
Attendance: 56

The captains get the game going
The captains get the game going

Surely not since Hampden in 1960 has a crowd been privileged to see such an exhilarating game of football. Played on a surface that was always going to hamper the graceful artistry of the teams, in a difficult wind creating tricky moustache adhesion problems, with an enthusiastic and partisan crowd, it was no surprise that the first half ended goalless after a nervous start by both sides.

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Football’s Left Home

Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who came along on Sunday to play the inaugural game in Battersea Park, whether intentionally or not…

We were featured twice on ITV News yesterday – first at lunchtime, then again in the early evening slot on London Tonight. Only two mistakes in the report… probably quite normal…

A remix of the London Tonight story, with additional footage of the game and post-match awards.

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Phil on London News NetworkPhil being interviewed
Chris on London News NetworkChris being interviewed


Opening Match – First Pics

The teams from the kick-off game
Approximately 36 players and one dog gave their all in a thrilling encounter

The Light Shirts played the Dark Shirts in a hard fought encounter on a sunny afternoon in Battersea Park. Final score was Lights 6, Darks 4. These are some pics taken by Caz that capture some of the elation and despair of this 10-goal thriller. Read the match report here.

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The Opening Game

Watch and Play Football in Battersea Park as we toast the great game

Pitch 2 in the middle of Battersea Park
This Sunday, March 24th 2002
Kick Off 2pm

Map of Battersea Park

We will be playing football in Battersea Park in honour of the first ever game under FA rules, which took place in 1864 and the ball we take to the Opening Ceremony will be kicked for the first time. ANYONE is welcome, however good or bad you are, wherever you come from and whichever sex you belong to. So come on down and watch or play. If you want to play please get to the pitch 1.30pm. We are hoping to get hold of 22 old style strips but in case we don’t, please bring along a dark and a light coloured shirt with your oldest looking shorts, we’ll pick teams, however big (playing a tag substitute system) and kick off at 2pm. No rules first half and then a referee for the second! See you there. If it looks like rain… bring an umbrella!

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The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.