Ball, Rugby

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A deflated leather rugby ball, with fraying leather stitching. This ball is brown with large grooves in in the surface of the leather. There is chalk marking the surface of the ball but only the words " BOUGHT AT KAPONGA " are readable. There are 10 holes in the middle of the ball through which fraying leather is laced, holding both sides of the ball together. The ball is accompanied by a letter from Harry Bashford to his great-nephew Bill Day, gifting him the rugby ball in 1966.
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Billy Day was given this ball in 1966, after it had been cared for by his great uncle Harry Bashford for many years. Family legend suggests this ball was bought for and used by the Waimate West (Manaia) Rugby Club to win the Junior XV Taranaki Championship. However, Harry recalled in his letter gifting the ball to Billy Day that he had purchased it in 1914, while the Waimate West Club won the championships in 1904, 1911, 1912 and 1913!

Either way, this rugby ball has seen a lot of action on the field. Harry writes in his letter to Billy that Harry and his brother Horace used this ball for training up until 1920. Clearly this ball was important to Harry, as he kept it carefully for many years before handing it down to his great-nephew.
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