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The Ball

1036 of 1170 nominations

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The Ball

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The Ball

Ballgames of one sort or another are imprinted in the genetic makeup of the English people. Having invented football, cricket, rugby, squash and snooker, it might be thought that this is only natural, but even in the games that began elsewhere, such as tennis and hockey, we are a nation obsessed with both spectating and participating at ballgames. This is partly what bestowed on us our celebrated respect for fair play and observing the rules, and also fitted us for great deeds in battle. “The Battle of Waterloo,” claimed the Duke of Wellington, “was won on the playing-fields of Eton.” Sir Henry Newbolt wrote in his oft-quoted 1897 poem Vitai Lampada of the schoolboy who goes to fight in Africa, and raises his own morale on the battlefield by recalling the sporting call to arms of his schooldays: “Play up! Play up! And play the game!” Heeding that rallying cry has sustained our nation through many a military and sporting success, as well as spurring us on through the odd glorious failure.

Image: Topfoto.co.uk

NOMINATION 1036 OF 1170

Your comments

The Ball provides minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of physical and mental pleasure, whilst playing, coaching or viewing. The ball of varied shape, substance and size is the undisputed icon of English and worldwide sporting joy, gracing football, cricket, rugby, tennis, golf, netball, hockey, basketball, squash, badminton, croquet, billiards, snooker, skittles, bowls, polo etc . Just think of the hours and hours of fun that people get from this simple object.

Jimmy Hill


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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer

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