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Month: May 2006

Battersea Park Match Report

The Ball 2006 (photo by Stanley)
The Ball 2006

They gathered at the Peace Pagoda, Battersea Park at 2pm to do battle. For some, it invoked memories of Passchendaele, Monte Cassino, Stalingrad, Trafalgar. For others it was merely a game of football. Jumpers for goalposts.

[You can watch the video of the game in the previous entry]

There were some old faces and some new, an interesting variety of footware and “football kit” and some shockingly white legs but the spirit and belief were high. After the necessary delays to greet the assembled worlds’ press (well…CNN) teams were picked and lined up Lights vs Darks.

Let the game begin (photo by Stanley)
Let the game begin

The Lights sprinted off to an early lead thanks to some excellent play by Phil down the wings and Chas, Shilton-esque, in goal by half time they were easily in front at 5-1.

The music of the fans - provided by Andy on sax and Brian on flute (photo by Stanley)
The music of the fans provided by Andy on sax and Brian on flute

Whatever the Darks were drinking during the break (I believe it was Champagne) they came out a team transformed for the second half.

It was nip and tuck in the midfield with the Darks adding three goals to be answered only by one from the Lights. Phil then switched teams playing for the Darks and the introduction of doggy Maisie to harry the Lights attack saw the Darks draw level in the very last minute with a stunning effort on the half volley by Einar.

Gooooooooal! (photo by Stanley)

So, to penalties and it was and Chas in goal for the Lights using the old Grobbelaar wobbly to great effect, saving three penalties. This just left Tom to score which he duly did, giving victory to the Lights. The post match analysis in the pub afterwards concluded that everyone had a very enjoyable day and it was a fitting send off for Phil and Christian on their journey to the World Cup.

Best of luck guys!

Kickoff for Germany (photo by Stanley)
Kickoff for Germany

Video: The Ball gets underway

The Teams 2006 (photo by Andrea Daschner)
The Teams celebrate (photo by Andrea Daschner)

Many thanks to everyone who turned up at Battersea Park on Sunday — we love you all! What luck we had with the weather, eh?

Final score:
Lights 8 — 8 Darks
(Lights won on penalties)

Recreating the first official game to FA rules.

Comment on this video

Full match report to come, but in the meantime, here is reminder of what Phil had to say in 2002 about the reason we do this:

The Football Association itself grew from a small group of players who, tired of the broken arms, endless arguments (not to mention endless pitches) drew up some rules to level the stakes. The evening of that first game, they made this toast — “Success to Football, irrespective of class and creed”. We will be adding sex” (don’t you mean “gender”? – ed.) and “talent” to the list, and generally getting right into this footballing occasion.

So the game in Battersea Park will honour the FA and mark the start of our journey to the World Cup, the very pinnacle of footballing excellence. Just grab your footballs and join in at the other end of the scale.

After all is done, football will remain.

Video: The Opening Game 2006

The Replica Ball 2006
The Ball prepares itself for kick off

This Sunday, May 28th 2006 in Battersea Park, London
Meet us @ 2pm at the Peace Pagoda on the river

So then, here we go again… it’s time to visit our Mount Olympus as we prepare for the epic overland journey to, er, Munich. Oh well, not quite the same epic as Seoul was last time or Cape Town will be next time, but hey, continuity is what it’s about this year. In the spirit of the low-key, low-effort* nature of this trip, we’re playing a kickabout on Sunday, May 28th at 2pm in Battersea Park.

(*since I wrote this Sky News have announced that they’re coming along to broadcast the kickoff LIVE on TV — *gulp* — not so low-key anymore then)

Map of the park
The Park

It may not be well organised, it may even end up as mob football, but we’ll be there all the same. Come along! Meet us at the pagoda by the river and help us make a spectacle of ourselves… bring along a dark and a light shirt so we can divide up into recognisable teams.

And as a reminder of what this is all about, I’ve included the 5 minute movie from 2002 below.


Video: Viral Football

Nope, I’m not talking about spyware, malware, adware or anything destructive to your computer’s health here, just a selection of the funny, annoying, provocative and simply delightful football-related trivia that’s come my way recently… most of it, no doubt, gearing people up for the imminent (oh my gosh how imminent!) start of the World Cup in Germany.

To kick off then, a sweet reminder of (one of) our World Cup hosts from four years ago — the kitschy but utterly compelling Lovely Football from Japan’s Onitsuka Tiger National Choir. Okay, so it’s advertising a shoe, but just check out the sing-along video!


So, following on swiftly from national stereotypes to the stuff showcasing male stereotypes… I guess this proves that men can’t stop thinking about football — it’s a photo of “Amburg Wc Futbol club” from Flickr:

Amburg Wc Futbol club
Uploaded by wweeggee on 31 Jan ’06, 9.59am GMT.

And then two timely pieces of advice — firstly, the “World Cup Rules for Women”, a memorandum (in HTML or PDF format) containing rules such as these:

1. From 9 June to 9 July 2006, you should read the sports section of the newspaper so that you are aware of what is going on regarding the World Cup, and that way you will be able to join in the conversations. If you fail to do this, then you will be looked at in a bad way, or you will be totally ignored. DO NOT complain about not receiving any attention.

2. During the World Cup, the television is mine, at all times, without any exceptions. If you even take a glimpse of the remote control, you will lose it (your eye).

3. If you have to pass by in front of the TV during a game, I don’t mind, as long as you do it crawling on the floor and without distracting me. If you decide to stand nude in front of the TV, make sure you put clothes on right after because if you catch a cold, I wont have time to take you to the doctor or look after you during the World Cup month.

Follow the links to the full document to read Rules 4 – 12. If you’re going to print it out and stick it to the fridge, I recommend the PDF — it’s designed to look like an offical FIFA document. Should make all the difference when confronted…

Secondly, if you do have to mingle with the fairer sex during matches, “How to explain the offside rule to a lady” (as it was politely titled when i received it) could help:

The Offside Rule explained for girls

You’re in a shoe shop, second in the queue for the till. Behind the shop assistant on the till is a pair of shoes which you have seen and which you must have.
The female shopper in front of you has seen them also and is eyeing them with desire.
Both of you have forgotten your purses.
It would be totally rude to push in front of the first woman if you had no money to pay for the shoes.
The shop assistant remains at the till waiting.
Your friend is trying on another pair of shoes at the back of the shop and sees your dilemma.
She prepares to throw her purse to you.
If she does so, you can catch the purse, then walk round the other shopper and buy the shoes.
At a pinch she could throw the purse ahead of the other shopper and, *whilst it is in flight* you could nip around the other shopper, catch the purse and buy the shoes.
Always remembering that until the purse has *actually been thrown* it would be plain wrong to be forward of the other shopper.
There you go poppet.

To which some wag added:

However if you were loitering by the till checking out the gift cards you are technically NOT INTEREFERING WITH PURCHASE and can be in that position when the ‘purse is thrown’. The purse must be allowed to fall to the floor before you can pick it up and buy the shoes though.

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.