Spirit of Football invites you to kick off The Ball 2014 on its epic 6 month, 30,000 km journey to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. It will kick off in Battersea Park, London on January 9th 2014, exactly 150 years after the first official football match to FA rules took place there.
Please note updated timings:
From midday, there will be a curtain-raising Year 7 five-a-side football tournament between Eaton House the Manor School, Sussex House School and Battersea Park School on the All Weather Pitches. Small goals will be kindly supplied by Bazooka Goal.
This will be followed at 12:45pm by the match launching The Ball 2014 on its route to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. There will be introductory speeches, though sadly Richard Tims of Sheffield FC has been taken ill and will not be able to attend. Expect rambling words from the SOF crew instead! The first half of the game will be played under the original association football rules with some players in period dress and the second half under the modern FA rules. Michael Toft Street Soccer will take on 1-v-1 street skills challenges at half time.
At 2:15pm there will be a dedication of an official Green Plaque to mark the 150th anniversary of the first official football match to FA rules. Invited guests include Elected Members of the Council, London FA, Friends of Battersea Park, local historical societies and many others.
Members of the cult band New Model Army including lead singer Justin Sullivan are going to play. NMA has written and recorded the song “Beautiful game” especially to support The Ball’s journey. Pre-order your copy here!
UPDATE this from Battersea Park regarding footwear:
I believe the majority of people have not used our venue before. Please advise them it is not a 3G astroturf, and it would be most helpful, if you could inform everyone of the details below. I am sure you will agree, it would be a shame if someone was prevented from playing, if they did not have the correct, and clean footwear for our surface.
Our pitches have recently been re-surfaced. (At great expense I must add) However all the same rules apply especially with regards footwear etc. NO Football boots of any description. (No Moulded, No Bladed, and No Studs), and of course all footwear must be clean, and not soiled in any way. Please be vigilant on this.
Also for all those who plan to come already changed. Please ask them to make use of the concrete pathways, and not walk or run across any grass areas. This applies to everything warm ups, fitness runs etc.
Could this also be conveyed to all your opponents etc. You know the drill, thank you
Written by Christian Wach on Saturday, January 4th, 2014