The Albert, the official match ball to be used at the London 2012 Olympic Games football tournament was officially revealed at The City of Coventry Stadium by Tom Cleverley of Manchester United and Robert Ashcroft, the 43 year old from Derbyshire who named the ball.
Tom Cleverley was on hand to present the ball to Robert Ashcroft, before they both stepped up to the penalty spot to be the first individuals to play with the ball in a London 2012 Olympic hosting stadium.
Cleverley said at the launch, “The Albert certainly has a unique name and striking identity. It is like no other ball I’ve seen before and it is going to really stand out on the pitch. The ball looks youthful and that is what London 2012 is meant to be about. The Olympic Games is going to be a huge event for Great Britain and if selected I would be delighted to represent Team GB.”
The name ‘The Albert’ was chosen after adidas, Official Sportswear Provider for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, invited the Great British public to ‘name the ball’.
Over 12,000 unique names were suggested over a ten day period in February 2011 and the name of the ball was announced in July 2011, one year ahead of the football tournament.
The Albert carries the London 2012 logo and features additional design elements in striking colours from the London 2012colour palate. The ball will be used to kick off the Olympic Football Tournament in Cardiff on 25th July, two days before the Opening Ceremony.
Ashcroft submitted his suggestion of ‘The Albert’ with his own interpretation of cockney rhyming slang where he proposed the London iconic landmark ‘The Albert Hall’ could mean ‘Ball’.
‘The Albert’ features a series of triangular panels that are thermally bonded together to ensure a true, stable flight path. Covering each panel of the ball is a grip texture which supports boot to ball contact and enhances ball control. Beneath the outer surface of the ball is a woven carcass and a new bladder for increased air retention and reduced water uptake.
‘The Albert’ meets and exceeds all FIFA Approved Standards for an Official Match Ball making it the most tested ball adidas has ever produced.