It brings a tear to the eye, though I would rather soak in nostalgia. Except, of course, when I have to prepare myself fully for a social function.
Back to nostalgia. This column needs no invitation to indulge in a rheumy-eyed look back to the days we made our own entertainment. And our own shoes.
These eyes are sponsored by Lanliq and the subject is provided by those good people at the Scottish Football Museum. They had something to tell me, I heard on the grapevine. It may have been easier if I had heard it on my mobile phone but we got there in the end.
In short, the museum is going in search of the tanner ba'. First, it must be noted that said spherical object is the epitome of Monty Python's "bloooody luxury".
Our jannie at primary school only allowed us to play with a rolled-up ball of paper in case the windaes were smashed. This was finished off with the flourish of a string and created the situation that the ball broke up and goals were scored at opposite ends in the very same moment.
The rough boys also employed pieces of anthracite used for the school boiler. These did break windaes, as well as ruin shoes and could disintegrate with the suddenness of a Scottish forward in front of goal.
But the tanner ba' is the specialist subject this week and the task is not only to define it but, well, to find it. Richard McBrearty, the curator at the museum, has a substantial weight of testimony about this fabled object. Greats such as Lawrie Reilly and Dave Mackay are taped talking about how their game was honed playing on the street with a tanner ba'.
But what was it? Some insist it was the size of a grapefruit, made of rubber and could bounce very high. In other words, it resembled your younger brother with his new sannies on.
Some of the old-style footballers say such balls were readily available and once cost sixpence. Ergo, they cost a tanner. (Note: must stop addressing this column to my mate Ergo even if he is the only one reading it).
But others are adamant. One is even Adam Ant, but that is not important right now. They say that tanner ba' referred to any small ball. Most specifically, they say the most common ball was that of the tennis variety and that is what they played with when matches lasted for days and the result was determined by the words; "Twenty-five half-time; 51 the winner."
There is one curiosity and one fascination in the above. The former is that one wonders at the sheer preponderance of tennis balls in my youth. Yet tennis was a game that was hardly played in Possil or the bit of Lanarkshire I inhabited. Racket was not used in reference to a sport but in tandem with the word 'protection'. Court was where your mate's big brother went when wearing a suit.
The fascination is that such as Mackay have spoken of playing football with tennis balls during their professional careers so as to improve their touch. The physicality of the former Hearts and Tottenham Hotspur player is easily recalled, but his technique can be overlooked. Jimmy Greaves once told me (if your are going to drop names, then make it a big one) that Mackay was one of the most skilful players he had known.
"He used to repeatedly volley the ball off a wall at pace without allowing it to the hit the ground. That is very difficult," he said. It is, though, perhaps easier if one is used to trying to control a tennis ball with a pair of size nines.
The tanner ba' has therefore helped mould Scotland's greats and it exists in memory and anecdote. But who has one? Is there a genuine tanner ba' lying in a loft? Or were they just tennis balls with delusions of being used for the big ball game?
Answers should be sent to the Scottish Football Museum. It is planning an exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery next year and would love to have a tanner ba' to show to the masses.
So if you see one, contact the museum at Hampden. If you see a tanner ba' player, contact Craig Levein.
And if you see a Mouldmaster, cover your testimonials and pray.
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