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Kashgar 5-a-side take on ‘Desert of No Return’

The Desert Nomads
We’re on a Road to Nowhere

The rolling ball gathers momentum as our travelling team swells for the toughest leg so far (see about us for the original home and away line up).


The Taklamakan desert, (through Hotan, Niya, Korla and on to Turpan), apparently its name translates as: ‘you enter but no come out’

The Ball and the team set off along the southern silk route.

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4 days, with Argie ‘Bargie’ at the wheel of our Toyota Tour Bus driving the 2000km distance.

The Team

Up front
Chris + myself

Gersh, sports journalist and two time left foot scorer from Kashgar game, see his report in ‘earlier’ Rock the Kashgar entry + Abdulwali, our ‘ere Uyghur’ maestro (keep them footy puns coming. ed.) + acting manager.

At the back
Tim the Boy Noble / Kendal Lad Tim / Fat Boy Tim, yes, he’s like three in one. Youthful zest, mountain strength and old school cassettes make up this man. We will be larging it in honour of his Birthday this coming Saturday.

In reserve
Maayan, our Israeli right foot general, who we pick up in Hotan. He’s been in training there.

Some of the provisions we have packed for the journey…

Leisure comfortable food
Leisure comfortable food

Football-branded cola
Football-branded cola

Well the excitement builds, I can hear the bus revving, Korea still calling, and the idea of picking up an entire 11 strong team before the World Cup a reality. Anyone in the China area fancy a game?

Ole Ole Ole Ole…

Spending so many hours in a van requires team-building exercises.

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Written by on Thursday, May 9th, 2002

9 comments on this post

  1. pork scratcher May 9, 2002 at 2:11 pm

    You boys are clearly suffering from a lack of mince.

  2. …and a surfeit of kebabs

  3. Hello Uncle Philly – whilst you were choosing the teams I was in North Uist (hot n sunny)collecting cowries on the beach at Berneray. Daddy was very distracted on Saturday afternoon…… until Ray Parlour put the game beyond the reach of the foreign tongued Blues from West London…..

    For your personal info, u might be interested to learn that I led an expedition (Mummy, Daddy, Mary & George included) to the top of Beinn Mhor. Good Corncrake action in the garden……..crex crex! P.S. Have you collected any seeds for Daddy yet – especially Peonies/roses??

  4. Hey Eliza — So good to hear about North Uist… I bet the corncrakes kept you awake at night?

    The desert here is totally amazing. We are checking out a place tomorrow, near Turpan, that is 154 meters below sea level! It’s the hottest place in China.

    Roses and peonies I will look for, but what does a peonie look like… anyone know?

    I bet your dad wrote that bit about Ray Parlour. Better luck next time to the excellent Chelsea, don’t you think?

    Report from the gruelling Taklamakan coming up soon.

    Love ‘n’ all….

  5. don’t fear the mince, for he is your friend

    (Chinese proverb)

  6. Confused-r-us May 13, 2002 at 6:20 pm

    Fear the mince, for she speaks with diced tongue

    (Chinese proverb)

  7. Diced tongue ? Surely you mean pressed ox tongue….. available from all good retailers of dead flesh.

  8. Phil’s already way ahead of you folk – his meal of “Chicken Internal Organs” last night looked, um, like food. To him.

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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.