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SGBALL revives the Adidas Telstar

SGBALL revives the Adidas Telstar

Publié le 6 May 2021

Back to the most popular Adidas ball

SGBALL had the chance to meet Pierre, owner of an old Adidas Telstar collector ball. After agreeing to repair this timeworn ball, we took a look at its history from its creation at Adidas, to the childhood memories it evokes for its owner today.

“A ball is, for a child, a dream box.”

Pierre tried to find a solution for his Adidas football ball, which he had been dragging from one shoemaker to another for a while in the hope of repairing the valve and the rubber… It must be said that this ball has lived a long time, dating back to the 70s, it was time to put it back on its feet.

The task was not easy, but the chance made well the things: it was enough of a meeting during the CTCO of Lyon, to make advance the history. On one side, this man holds the memories of his childhood in his hands. On the other, Simon and Louis, from SGBALL, impressed by this collector’s ball that has lasted for years.

This ball is not just any ball, it is the Telstar Durlast, the official ball of the 1974 World Cup. It didn’t take long for Simon and Louis, ball specialists, to accept the challenge of repairing this nugget whose years have given it a vintage look.

Back in Nantes, the whole SGBALL team is interested in this ball, so much so that we want to tell its story, from its creation to today…

The official Adidas balls

Completely round, mounted on 12 black pentagons and 20 white hexagons, the Adidas Telstar has been memorable since its creation. A classic in the representation of the soccer ball, this model has been used in all cartoons and pop culture movies.

If the ball imposes its two colors at the time, it is first to appear clearly on TV screens, which broadcast for the first-time soccer games on air in 1970. That’s where he got his name from Telstar, which means TV star. It is also said that this name comes from the satellite bearing the same name. About spherical and strewn with black solar panels, it is him who would have retransmitted the matches of the World Cup of the time in the whole world.

From a more technical point of view, the Telstar is the first official football ball with 32 panels, which follows the model of a truncated icosahedron, like the majority of the balls we know today. Its panels are made of leather but covered with a polyurethane layer, called Durlast, which prevents water absorption and protects against scratches.

The first Telstar ball was used in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. The one we are talking about today is the ball used in 74, for the 10th edition of the World Cup in Germany. If it resembles the first model, its particularity is that it is the first ball in the world to carry the name and the logo of a brand. We witness the beginning of marketing at Adidas.

500 official models of the ball were produced by Adidas in France and Spain, but only the balls made in France were intended for the World Cup. In the end, 20 balls were used for the matches, and 60,000 replicas made in the rest of the world were sold.

Pierre, whom we met at the CTCO, is the owner of a rare ball since it is part of the official models manufactured in France. It is with pleasure that he accepted to tell us the story of his ball, mixed with his childhood memories.

The memories of a little boy

At the age of 10 or 11, Pierre was a little boy of the 70s generation. Without being a big fan of football, he used to meet his friends in the evening after school, to play the leading sport of the moment.

40 years later, he shares with us his memories full of emotions, transporting us in the atmosphere of the past decades…

Like most kids at that time, Pierre followed the World Cup event on the family television, surrounded by his family. In the ’70s, only the big games were broadcasted on television, which only offered a few channels. Like the Olympic Games, football was a symbol of gathering and sportsmanship, less marketed than it is today.

It is the one he considered as his uncle, who gave him the ball he is so fond of. A very high-level athlete, several times French champion and 5th at the Olympic Games in the middle-distance discipline, he was perhaps less famous to the general public, but very well known in the world of sport. In Pierre’s eyes, he was the sports “uncle” who gave him clothes, rackets, and balls that he got from sponsors.

“When I received this ball, I was very proud of it… It looked serious… A “real” ball with a brand. I remember that it even seemed ‘too visible’ compared to the other, more neutral balls.” Although he felt a sense of rarity when he saw this ball, the little boy at the time did not understand the value of this official World Cup model. Simply, the fact that it came from his uncle’s sports background made it valuable.

The World Cup had just passed, and the ten or so kids in the neighborhood, gathered in the school gym, dreamed of imitating their idols of the final, Johan Cruyff or Bekenbaueur.

“The sport did not have the media exposure that it has nowadays,” says Pierre, who remembers his grandfather playing referee while he invented game techniques such as hopping with the ball before scoring.

“A football ball is necessary, for a child, a box of dreams”… After all these years, it is with the pleasure of offering it to his daughter, that Pierre went to find at the bottom of the family cellar his old ball marked by the scars of the district matches. He entrusts it today to SGBALL, the time to give it a second youth, leaving us with his words, “I like the idea of an object that crosses time, the idea of extending into another generation all the memories of the invisible engraved on its leather panels… ”


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