World Cup winner Alan Ball first showcased his distinctive white football boots in the Charity Shield at the beginning of the 1970/71 football season.

Alan Ball's White Football Boots

Why did he wear white boots?

Alan heard a rumour that the boot manufacturer Hummel, were looking for a professional to wear their white boots and were prepared to pay £2,000. He took them up on the deal, only to be disappointed, he said

“To be honest lads they were crap, like cardboard, so I got the young apprentices to paint my Adidas football boots white. It was great, till one day it rained and the black came through. A not too happy watching Hummel rep saw what I’d done so I said goodbye to the two grand.”

Update: We spoke to the Hummel executive involved in this deal, here’s the scoop – History of the White Football Boot

Picture: Alan Ball in his white boots.

Alan Balls White Boots


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    1. says: mindle

      as a kid i had a pair of allan ball white boots.loved em to bits,even though they where a size to small and crippled my feet and carried on wearing em.blackheath common,saturday morning,freezing cold weather,put the goals up. good old days? not. as much as i loved me football the best bit was getting on the 53 bus to go home. you can get puma king in white. i have a pair. a good quality boot.

  1. says: Bruce Morrison

    Hi everyone,
    I loved playing football when I was young, and when I bought some alen ball football boots I thought they would help me play better…….My dad always made me clean and dubbin my boots after every game so the novilty soon wore thin.
    But nowadays everyone wears coloured boots so I take my hat off to the guy who started the trend…..just took a while to take off
    And Yes, my dad use to repair the football with a bike repair kit, and every header left a shoelace inprint on my head with the odd shaped ball…..those were the days

  2. says: Bhewitt6

    As the person who actually came up with the idea of white boots – I can tell you that Alan’s version above is not quite on the nose.  I knew that Hummel – being new to the UK market – needed something to make the jump from Adidas.  So, that was the idea and we sold it to Alan and he was terrific.  His first boot WERE  his own Adidas boots which WE had painted white for him in Heckmondwyke!!!  After that we improved the boot enough to have them used by Alan Hinton and others and we also made red ones which were worn by Charlie George of Arsenal and Tommy Smith of Liverpool.   Before we launched with Alan Ball at the Charity Shield match we had sold just 5000 pairs since people thought it would be ‘girlie’ to wear them.  In the first hour of Monday morning AFTER the Charity game we sold 15000 prs in the first hour.
    That is the true story.
    Brian Hewitt

    1. says: Keely Allan

      I am Alan`s daughter and i have stummbled upon this peice as i am trying to find Hummel white boots for my two son`s. Alan`s grandsons. They are desperate to get some just like the ones he made famous. The story above is accurate and i know for a fact that he learned to love his white boots. If anyone can help me find The white boots for my kids i would be very happy. Maybe Hummel would make them for them if not!!!! I miss my dad terribly and will do anything to keep his memory alive.

      1. says: Brian Hewitt

        He was a great man – fastest feet I ever saw and a real nice person. In todays world he would have made millions from that kind of deal – but then that is life I suppose. I hope you are well – keep his memory he was worth it.

  3. says: Neil ORourke

    I was looking at some old Goal football magazines from season 1969/69 and Wyn Davis of Newcastle United can be seen waring White Football Boots during that season. So Wyn Davis pre-dates the late Alan Ball by 2 years.

  4. says: Iain Belton

    If my memory serves me well, Delman sports first introduced them for Hummel. I worked for the company that financed their introduction. Exciting days. Revolutionary (no pun intended) days but like most things ahead of their time, took time to catch on.

  5. says: steve Plews

    My Mum, although skint, bought me a pair of Bally’s boots, I was a ragamuffin, but I had the best boots in the school, went on played same team as Lineker, scored over 230 goals in one season between us, them were the days! Both offered contracts by Clough, both turned him down, (fools) both signed for Leicester….regrets??? Too right!

  6. says: Philip ball

    Hi keely , just to let you know , I bought your dads original white boots, I gave them to my son for his wedding present , his name is Alan Ball

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