Footballs have been around a lot longer than one may first think. Originally made from natural materials, such as an inflated pigs bladder. Later these were covered in leather. With the invention of rubber and plastic, modern balls still follow the same principle but the pigs bladder has been replaced with a rubber or plastic bladder and is now covered in a plastic casing.
The oldest ball still in existence, thought to be made around 1550, was found in Stirling Castle in 1981. It has now found a home at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling.
Most modern balls are stitched from 32 panels of waterproofed leather or plastic. The first 32-panel ball was marketed by Select in the 1950s in Denmark. The standard ball is a Size 5, although smaller sizes exist, with sizes 3 and 4 being used for small-field variants of the game. Size 1, more of a novelty item, is used as a decorative item and something for younger children to use.
Here at Subside Sports we stock a range of domestic and International tournament balls as well as heritage style balls