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The Ball meets its maker

What seems like an age ago, The Ball was hit by a car in Abidjan and rushed to hospital. But the wound got bigger and bigger and bigger… eventually it was so big that The Ball had to be taken to see a ball doctor last week in Yaounde, Cameroon, where it got temporary stitches. Now The Ball has returned back to the place in Kenya where it was made.

The Alive & Kicking factory entranceThe Alive & Kicking factory entrance

How would it feel to meet your maker? I get a little bit little nervous for The Ball as it is about to do just that. Bernard is very happy to see The Ball, his creation, again. How different it looks now, covered as it is in over 10,000 signatures and kicked in hundreds of games of football.

Bernard inspects The BallBernard inspects The Ball

Bernard sets about restoring his creation to full health. He removes two wounded panels. He then removes and replaces the bladder in a particularly delicate procedure. It is one of the more difficult operations Bernard has had to undertake. Not least because the press surround him as he works his magic. At last, The Ball is ready to be made whole again — brand new panels are fitted over the gaping hole.

Removing the bladderRemoving the bladder
Bladder, what bladder?Bladder, what bladder?
Bernard declares the operation a successBernard declares the operation a success

We know it is not just any ball, but The Ball is now huge. It has increased in size considerably due to getting soaked in Dakar, then dried out in the searing heat of Mali and Burkina Faso, then wet and dry again in the high humidity of Atlantic West Africa from the Ivory Coast through to Cameroon.

The Ball is now fit as a fiddle, but slightly groggy and a wee bit out of balance… the new panels are much smaller than the old ones that have stretched from all the wind, water, wear and tear. It bounces in an oddly uneven way now.

Oh well, I suppose it’s nothing that a good kicking won’t fix!

Written by on Friday, May 14th, 2010

2 comments on this post

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by said: The Ball meets its maker: What seems like an age ago, The Ball was hit by a car in Abidjan and rushed to hospital…. […]

  2. Anna Binnie-Dawson May 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    the ball 2010 could tell the the other 2 balls a thing or two!

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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.