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

Category: Kyrgyzstan

Hee Hee Hee, Ho Ho Ho, cash pours from Chris’s pockets

On our way from Bishkek to Issy-Kul in a 4×4 driven by ‘man o the mountains’ Slava we pass through a dramatic valley along the course of a fast flowing river. As the sun begins to fade Aleena our guide tells us how 40 rivers flow into the lake but none flow out. Strange in itself, stranger still as I had been watching the river flow the opposite way as we approach the lake uphill. I say as much to Chris…

Read the rest of this entry »

Come on you, er, yellows!

Manchester Club card
The Manchester Club, Bishkek

We arrived back in Bishkek from Issy-Kul intent on seeing the Champion’s League semi-final between Manchester United and Bayern Leverkusen. We had no idea where to go, until we enquired in a bar known to be an ex-pat hangout in the centre of the city where people would watch football. We were rewarded with a chorus of uncomprehending looks, until we uttered the magic word “Manchester”, whereupon we were directed to the most unlikely of places to find in Central Asia – the Manchester Club.

Manchester Club staff
The staff at the Manchester Club, Bishkek

Phil was first into the bar, while I took some shots of the building and the friendly bouncers, so when I eventually went inside, I found him engaged in an animated conversation with the staff. Victoria (centre of picture) seemed to be the ringleader, and was being gently teased by Phil about the appropriateness of her name. Strangely, she’d not been informed before of her namesake’s existence…

Read the rest of this entry »

Phil – Issy-Kul, or what?

The players at Issy-Kul
The players at Issy-Kul

More footballing serendipity, ex-Soviet weirdness, and Phil scores a goal to remember…

Read the rest of this entry »

The Ball in Bishkek

A high ball
The Ball reaches 2800m

Our arrival in the almost unpronounceable Kyrgyzstan, a nation consisting of less flat surfaces than any other, made playing football a little more tricky than in the flatlands of Europe, Russia and Uzbekistan. Nonetheless, we found that Bishkek, the capital provided us with more football than we had expected.

This video is missing because we are in the process of uploading all our videos to YouTube. Please be patient: the video will appear at some point! In the meantime, visit The Ball on YouTube.

The Ball crosses mountains to keep the show on the road, and finds a game in Bishkek.

Comment on this video

Read the rest of this entry »

Come on you Reds!

Lenin petitions the Referee
“Are you blind, ref? It was clearly a foul!”

This video is missing because we are in the process of uploading all our videos to YouTube. Please be patient: the video will appear at some point! In the meantime, visit The Ball on YouTube.

Soviet-era statues, eh?

Comment on this video

This video is missing because we are in the process of uploading all our videos to YouTube. Please be patient: the video will appear at some point! In the meantime, visit The Ball on YouTube.

Everyone seems to take an interest in The Ball.

Comment on this video

Hee Hee Hee

While in Bukhara with our friend Rich who, sadly, was only with us for a week, we had one spectacular night. After dinner in town we returned to Farkhad and Maya’s beautiful courtyard of their hotel in the old town and proceeded to neck the vodkas with much frivolity and raucous laughter. Chris just before bed decides to ring his recent girlfriend, my cousin, for a quick ‘clear up some issues’ call and Rich and I head off to his room for me to play him “one more fast one before bed”, as he was insisting. He has been in Afghanistan for three weeks straight with no music at all, so I thought it only fair to bang out ‘That’s Alright Mama’ one more time, double time, away from the disturbed eyes and ears of Maya and her sister. As my flashing fingers came to a stop, Rich insisted on another, I kissed him goodnight and slipped away to bed….

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.