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THE "BURLEY" BALL.  

   

 

A Noted Achievement.  

The first ball used in Australian foot-

ball was the English Rugby ball, and it was not until 1904 that the "Sherrin" and "Fordham," two Victorian balls, were introduced. As they were of smaller pattern, and better adapted to the game, these two balls immediately became popular. Then, in 1906, Mr. J. L. Burley produced his "Western" football in this State. Although league delegates were not enthusiastic about this ball. Mr. J. Capp, who was then secretary and dele- gate of the East Fremantle club, offered to have the ball tried out and to report to the league. In a match between East Fremantle and West Perth, played on the Fremantle Oval, on June 14, 1906, the first "Burley" football was used.

The ball came in for severe criticism from the Press, and from Tom Wilson, captain of East Fremantle. However, after they had used it for practice, East Fremantle were so impressed with the service it gave that they ordered a fur- ther supply, with slight modifications in size. These were so successful that East Fremantle changed to "Burley" balls ex- clusively. Perth and West Perth then followed suit, and, by the time the semi- finals and finals arrived, there were only two clubs which had not changed to the new ball. As these two were out of the finals, naturally the "Burley" ball was used for these matches.

That season firmly established the "Burley'' ball. Since then this football has had active advocates in the Western Australian League, and its delegates to the Australasian Council. It has at- tained an eminence shared only with the ''Sherrin.'' Since 1906 it has been used in a number of carnivals with great suc- cess, while in this, state it has been used   in all finals and interstate games since that year.

On the left is the ball used on the 1921 carnival; in the centre is the type used in the grand final last season; and on the right is the new ball for this

season.

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