When is a pig’s bladder the same as a spherical polyhedron?

…when it’s a football.

With all eyes on South Africa for kick-off of the World cup on Friday 11th June we thought we’d take a look at the earliest records of the beautiful game – and work out how many modern balls we could fit into our most popular unit.

The world’s oldest surviving football was found in 1981 at Stirling Castle, Scotland.   Dated from around 1540 it survived – stored in the roof space above the Queen’s chamber – for some 440 years.  It’s 440 year storage preservation is even more impressive given that it was made of Cow hide and used a Pig’s bladder as the air sack to inflate the ball.

Whether it was accidentally hoofed up there by an over enthusiastic tradesman who was on a break from renovating the chamber or, as has been suggested, purposefully left there to ward-off spirits – is anyone’s guess.  How nice to think of the castle courtiers chalking up their scores for ‘ye olde keepie-uppie’ on the castle walls – though the court jester would have had a harder time dribbling the ball in those jangly curly toed slippers.

At around half the size of a modern ball the Stirling relic shares little with it’s modern counterpart.  The official FIFA World Cup ball – the Jabulani made by Adidas – is packed with the latest synthetic technology.  It hasn’t been greatly received by players, so – Adidas – if you’re struggling to sell them and need somewhere to store stock – by our calculations we reckon you could fit 972 in one of our 50sq ft units.  Just be careful when you open the door…

How many footballs can you fit in a self-storage unit?

How many footballs can you fit in a self-storage unit? 972 by our reckoning.