As World cup fever spreads we thought we’d take a look at the earliest records of the beautiful game that is football – 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 Cowhide 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 Brazuca made by Adidas – is more aerodynamic than the Jabulani ball used in South Africa for the previous World Cup. By our calculations we reckon you could fit 972 in one of our 50sq ft units.
Just be careful when you open the door…