A92_615.jpg Ball, Rugby (about 1970s-1980s). Adidas. Collection of Puke Ariki (A92.615).

This rugby ball has taken a real kicking. It is not a trophy collector’s ball, no All Blacks have signed it and no one used it to score a last-gasp try in the corner to win the Ranfurly Shield. It may have been made by Adidas, as the faded branding shows, but it’s a fair bet no one played with it in a ‘clean stadium’. But it deserves respect. Leather balls like this one served countless kids well during the 1970s and 1980s. This sort of ball smashed windows, got stuck on school roofs and was chewed by the dog. They often were lost under the hedge, slowly mouldering in the weather before being rediscovered. It was donated to Taranaki Museum from the estate of Fitzroy schoolteacher Ernest Diack in the mid-1990s. 

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