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As the England team depletes, we pray the Xiahe Tibetan monks play clean

Young monks prostrate themselves in football boots
Here at the Labrang Monastery the young monks dig football

Gutting news about Dyer and Gerrard being added to the injured list, but we’re keeping our boots polished and training hard with some Tibetan monks tomorrow and Dalai Lama knows who the day after that. So, Sven, once we’ve delivered our ball to the Opening ceremony we’re all yours.

First impressions as The Ball arrives at the famous Tibetan monastery.

Comment on this video

The Ball prays for Peace
The ball takes a trip down the prayer wheels

As the sun went down and our third moon rose this evening I played a beautiful game in a Yak enclosure. Yak pats, dust (again) and rocks for goalposts (again) set this scene.

Yaks leaving the pitch
Yaks chased from their enclosure making way for Football

More on this tomorrow and a development of the desert story (containing news of the finest goal of the trip so far. Quite liderally an er… heavenly strike mate… wasn’t it, isn’t it… er… gotta love football…. don’t like to talk about it much… um…do I?)

Written by on Tuesday, May 21st, 2002

4 comments on this post

  1. Hey boys, glad to hear you made it to Xiahe in one piece. The cold up there is a bit of a change from the heat of Turpan isn’t it? Can’t wait to see photos from your football match with the monks. Our little group has made it to Kashgar. Hope we get a chance to meet up again in Beijing!

  2. The Boy Noble May 17, 2002 at 11:32 am

    Hi, hot on your heels. After the magic of Dunhuang’s Grottoes – Big Buddha sends his love – and the questionable Jiayaguan ‘Great’ Wall, I’m off to Lanzhou – my (train)Wheels of Steel turning at the highest rpm they can muster.

    Peace and love. (In a Xiahe style)

  3. Apparently Dyer’s made some sort of miracle recovery (or everyone was overreacting in the first place) and may still play.

    Phil, I’m still surprised Sven hasn’t called on you to beef up the wide right – why not fax him, let him know you’re feeling fresh?

  4. Canadian Neighbours — Yes the cool of Xiahe totally welcome relief from the Turpan oven, good to hear you made it to the beautiful Kashgar. Monky action to come… we now have game planned for the grasslands on Monday. We plan to be in Beijing 23rd and 24th, will you, or anyone else who fancies getting together, be around then?

    The Boy Noble — So you caught us up, quite literally… isn’t it, mate. Know what you mean about Jaiyuaguan ‘Scenic Spot’, a tourist rebuild not so Great Wall… get me off this sightseeing trail and lets play a game or two… six o’clock tonight at the Tibetan Middle School today and two o’clock in the grasslands tomorrow.

    Ben — Good news on Dyer. I’m bang up for the Sven call up… got his fax number?

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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.