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The logo held aloft

Category: Video

Video: Flashback to St. Pauli

St Pauli FC logo
St Pauli — not PLC

In which we encounter the friendliest supporters we’ve met — as Trinidad and Tobago play a warm-up match against the unique St Pauli.

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St Pauli Hamburg
St Pauli’s in Hamburg, by the way

Some pictures for those of you who might be having trouble seeing the videos — perhaps your connection isn’t fast enough or perhaps you haven’t installed Quicktime yet. Either way, here you go:

One of our tickets to the game
One of our tickets to the game

A view of the crowd
We are warriors! The St Pauli crowd gets into the music

Sound supporters' deck
The St Pauli Sound supporters’ turntable mat

Save football, smash business
Radical through and through

Dancing together
But there’s a common cause — having fun

Sound Supporters' logo
Courtesy of the St Pauli Sound Supporters

Find out more about the St Pauli Sound Supporters at their website…

Video: Some people don’t like football!

Blinded by the light
Blinded by the light

Some people just don’t like football.

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Video: Beto’s football circus

Beto keeps it up

Outside the Opening Ceremony is the usual media circus — more camera crews and presenters than you can shake a football at. In the midst of this electronic feeding frenzy was one Adalberto Sanchez, world record holder for bouncing a football on his head. His record is two hours, if you’re thinking of emulating his feat.

One of the features of South and Central American supporters is that they often buy the shirt of the host country as a show of goodwill. Watch Beto as he puts his Deutschland shirt on whilst bouncing The Ball on his head!

Freestyling goodwill towards the hosts.

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Video: Der Ball erreicht die Weltmeisterschaft

We arrive at the Opening Ceremony
We arrive at the Opening Ceremony

The Ball makes it Munich and soaks up the atmosphere outside the stadium.

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The gathering has started.

The end of The Ball's journey
The end of The Ball’s journey

For us, the journey has finished — at a particularly attractive wasteland outside the stadium in Munich — but for all the teams that take part, the journey has only just begun.

Let’s play football!

UPDATE: We’ve got promises to keep, so I’m adding to this post — sorry that it took so long for us to get this picture of you up on the site, Philipp. Here it is now:

Philipp — a little star

Video: A Time to Make Friends

The things that divide us
The things that divide us

This is the first time that this country has hosted the World Cup.

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We cross to the east at Point Alpha

Christian on camera
Christian at work

…and realise that east and west are just in our heads.

The Ball at the heart of the peace

It’s the Opening Ceremony today. A time to make friends. Bring it on.

Verld Kupp!

Video: Oh the irony

Philip Schlösser
Philip Schlösser

Philip reveals that all is not as it seems.

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We should have read the signs!

Video: Football reaches Germany

Gymnasium Martino Katharineum
Gymnasium Martino Katharineum

The Ball goes in search of the first game of football in Germany. Just how did it start?

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We go in search of the first game of football in Germany — reputed to have taken place in this grammar school in Braunschweig.

I found a PDF (Acrobat Reader required) on the web which has the following to say about the game:

Die offizielle Geburtsstunde des Fußballspiels in Deutschland schlug in Braunschweig. Das genaue Datum ist unbekannt, festgehalten ist lediglich “Michaelis 1874” – der 29. September 1874.

Der Initiator, Gymnasialprofessor und Turnlehrer Konrad Koch, sprach mehrfach davon, das Spiel im Oktober 1874 während eines Spielnachmittags am Gymnasium Martino-Katharineum mit seinen Schülern erstmals gespielt zu haben. Kochs Kollege, August Hermann, hatte sich aus England einen Ball besorgt und diesen einfach in die Schar der spielenden Jungen geworfen mit einem für Konrad Koch Überraschenden Ergebnis: “Der große Eifer, der alle zunächst Herangezogenen beseelte, machte es gleich im ersten Winter möglich, ja nötig, zweimal in der Woche, am Mittwochund dem Sonnabend-Nachmittag zu spielen; dabei war die Beteiligung der Einzelnen am Spiel durchweg rege und unablässig”

Roughly translated, this says:

The official birth of the game of football in Germany took place in Braunschweig. The exact date is not known, but it is commonly believed to have happened on the 29th September 1874.

The Initiator, gym and sport tutor Konrad Koch, spoke often about it, saying that the game was first played by his students in October of 1874 during an afternoon break at the Martino-Katharineum grammar school. Koch’s colleague, August Hermann, had procured a ball in England and had simply thrown the ball into the melee of playing students, with (for Konrad Koch) the unexpected result that “the great eagerness for the game which followed made it possible – nay necessary – to organise regular games on both Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout that first winter, and the enthusiasm of those taking part never waned”.

Video: England win the World Cup 2006: eat my football

As the World Cup approaches, bakers whip up football fever.

Christian eats a ball of bread
While Chris scoffs his ball…

Phil eats the pitch
I eat my goal

Check out England’s victory at the 2006 World Cup…

Phil and Christian enjoy their football-themed food.

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Video: Scare of the day

Christian filming in silhouette

The consummate professionals at work. Again.

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A quick behind-the-scenes look at how we get this site together while we’re on the road. Believe me, it’s not easy.

The outside of cafe where we work
Our office

The trouble with this blogging thing is that doing and publishing both require time, and we just don’t have enough to give to both. So we muddle our way through, aware that one of them will suffer.

Christian working in his sleep
I usually work in my sleep

So we grab what time we can to edit and write — in this case after dinner in a cafe, as you can see. Ah, this gonzo journalism lark… how much easier it would be if we’d decided to simply write about what we’re doing — video seems to take so much more effort to produce that text.

Right, I’ll stop complaining now.

Video: A cracking good game

The sponsors of KVK Ieper
The Crack

An impromptu kickabout with some kids we ran into in Ypres.

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Well, we did eventually manage to have a bit of a knock-about in Ieper, but not the full-scale game that we had hoped for. Instead, we found Glyn, Peter and Matthieu playing keepie-uppie in the field next to our campsite. As so often happens when it’s underway, The Ball quickly became a source of fascination and a little puzzlement. Once we’d explained what it was all about, Phil and I donned our KVK Ieper shirts and joined in the kickabout.

The teamshot
The Team

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.