Today: June 29, 2024 4:35 am

The story of how Chelsea invented the use of ball boys in football

In modern football, ball boys have become part of the game that the game can not do without these young fellas.William Foulke 'ball boys'

Ball boys weren’t part the the beautiful game of football until an incident forced Chelsea Football Club to invent the use of it. Just Sit tight with your popcorn let me tell you the story of how the use of ball boys was invented by Chelsea.

In 1905, Chelsea signed William Foulke from Sheffield United after the club was formed newly. The Blues signed William Foulke even though he was overweight.

Stories have it that the reason why the newly formed Chelsea Football Club signed William Foulke was because of his popularity, and Chelsea being a newly formed team needed spectators to fill the stadium to watch their games.William Foulke 'ball boys'

William Foulke played only one season for Chelsea and he was their first-ever goalkeeper in the history of the club. He was credited with the award of being the first-ever goalkeeper to use ball boys in football.

According to legends William Foulke being overweight did not have the strength to go and get the ball when it went farther from him, hence the club had to bring in two young boys to help him bring the ball each it went out of play to save time.

William Foulke was about 6.4 ft tall and he weighed about 24 tonnes during his playing days at Chelsea. It was also said that William Foulke during a particular incident ate the food made for the entire 11 Chelsea players.

The ball boys were placed at the back of his goalpost to make William Foulke the goalkeeper look bigger in the eyes of an attacker whenever they got close to the 18-yard box. They also helped him to get the ball each time it went out of play.

The Blues are hence credited as the football club to have invented the use of Ball Boys because of circumstances, and William Foulke the goalie that started the practice.

William Foulke despite being overweight was Chelsea’s captain in his only season as a Chelsea player. In 1907, William Foulke was later sold to Bradford City FC for £50 the same amount he was bought with from Sheffield United to Chelsea.

William Foulke was nicknamed ‘fatty’ by fans because of his size. Apart from football, William Foulke also played as a professional cricket player. He sadly passed away of cirrhosis at just the age of 42 on the 1st of May 1916. Mason mount as a ball boy

Today, no football match is played without the use of ‘Ball Boys’ and we have seen popular footballers who have served as ball boys in the early stages of their careers. Manchester United’s Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Chalobah are popular players who have served as ‘ball boys’ in the past.

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  1. Avatar for evafooty James Chitambala : November 14, 2023 at 8:40 pm

    Am man united fan, this var its being unfair with us.

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