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Category: Video

Audio: We detour for radio, darling

Excess emotional baggage
Excess emotional baggage

Check out the BBC’s Excess Baggage site for more details about the programme.

There’s also a great write-up of our project on The Guardian’s website and an article in German on the Focus online website if you’re into reading the coverage we get.

Video: Back to forwards, on we go

KVK Ieper Stadium
KVK Ieper Stadium

An interview with KVK chairman Rik Verstraete.

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We look for the legacy of the Christmas Truce game with a visit to KVK Ieper and have a chat and a kickabout with the club chairman, Rik Verstraete.

Rik Verstraete, Chairman of KVK Ieper
Rik Verstraete, Chairman of KVK Ieper

Video: We make it to Ypres and reach back in time

Honouring the dead
Honouring the fallen of the first world war

The Ball takes a trip back in time to tell the story of the Christmas Truce game in 1914.

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This video follows on from this one if you’re wondering about the abrupt start…

Video: So France, so good

Arrival in France
Arrivals, as it says

With a bit of luck, The Ball crosses the English Channel to France.

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Since we left you hanging over the edge of the White Cliffs of Dover in our last post, this one is meant to reduce your stress levels as the World Cup approaches. I’m sure the media are whipping the populations of their various countries into a footballing frenzies, and, to paraphrase the great Douglas Adams, there are enough stresses in the world without inventing new ones to add to the real ones. So we’re giving you a slight spoiler for the next episode.

We did make it to France (was there ever any doubt?) and the Phantom Fouler’s efforts to impede the progress of The Ball didn’t pay off in the long run — but more of that in the next installment…

Video: The Phantom Fouler strikes again

The Phantom Fouler
The Phantom Fouler

The Ball takes in some landmarks on its way to the Kentish coast.

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So The Ball has left Battersea Park and is now bouncing its way to Europe. Phil and I have reached the most iconic stretch of English coastline there is: the White Cliffs of Dover. Last time, in 2002, we kicked a long ball straight across the Channel to a beach near Calais… and the idea was to do the same this year. Until the (in)famous Phantom Fouler intervened, that is…

The Phantom Fouler in Xi'an
The Phantom Fouler in Xi’an

If you haven’t come across him before, he’s the Terracotta Warrior who ruthlessly hacked Phil down in Xi’an, providing us with the free-kick that took us direct to Tiananmen Square. You can watch the video in this post from 2002, or read the story in this post.

So then, will The Ball make it across the Channel? Will “fair play” win out in the end? Watch the next episode to find out if we make it…

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.

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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.