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

Category: England

They think it’s all over…

The Ball 2002
It is now.

The Ball has now returned back to England, but we’re not done with it quite yet – this site will continue to develop even though there’s no more Cup. As well as the continuing saga on video, there will be flashbacks to times we didn’t manage to write about, more on the real story of how football left home, and some extra eyecandy for you all. With a bit of luck, we’ll keep this site growing and changing until The Ball 2006 leaves for Germany in just under four years time.

World Cup 2002 RIP.

World Cup 2006 here we come: a new blog and another plan for a trip.

Roll on 2006!

Read the rest of this entry »

Leaving Japan

Stuff. More stuff. Even more stuff. Phil tells it like it is as we prepare to leave Japan.

Comment on this video

Homeward bound…

Read the rest of this entry »

Good Omens on the Home Front

Lifelong Chelsea fan Phil will be pleased to hear that the Blues made it to the FA Cup final where they’ll face Arsenal on May 4th. His home town team, Brighton and Hove Albion made history by clinching the Second Division Championship and a second successive promotion after winning the Third Division last year. Fellow musician and Seagulls shirt sponsor Fatboy Slim was reportedly “lost for words”.

Phil sings and plays harmonica in The Blues Cafe in Samarkhand.

Comment on this video

The Quest Begins

Talking Balls

In the beginning was the Whistle. In this World Cup year, it sounded for me in Battersea Park on the first day of Spring. I had prepared myself for the quest in London, knowing that I would be travelling far from by birthplace, but now that I was in motion, the momentum was starting to build around me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kicking Off

Kicking off to Korea
Kick off to Korea

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

Comment on this video

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Comment on this video

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

From the other side of the room

Trip ExplanationI’m yards away from Chris (he and I are making the trip) and our mate Ben who are using their greymatter to allow me, on the other side of the room, to update this travelogue page from this laptop. That is if this, my first attempt, works?

Read the rest of this entry »

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.