There are many names and icons associated with our great game.
But when it comes to the football itself, the name ‘Sherrin’ has been synonymous with Australian Rules football for over 140 years.
The iconic football was invented by Thomas William Sherrin – a saddler by trade – in 1879 after he had the idea to improve upon the English-made leather rugby balls that were being used at the time.
Sherrin’s revolutionary design – an ovoid ball with rounded points made from Australian cow leather – became the first ball designed specifically for Australian Rules Football, and less than a year later was widely accepted as the football of choice for local teams.
With the new ball a resounding success, Sherrin built a small factory in Wellington Street, Collingwood, and started producing footballs and other sporting leather goods on a larger scale.
By 1906, the Australasian Football Council based its measurements for the universally accepted standard game-ball size on Sherrin’s initial design.
The family company was inherited by Thomas’ nephew, John ‘Syd’ Sherrin, after his passing in 1912, who was then succeeded by his son, Tom.
The Sherrin underwent several new iterations during this time, including an all-white ball for a special night match in 1935 and the ground-breaking all-yellow football in 1971.
But since T.W. Sherrin’s initial design in 1879, the size of the men’s national ball has remained unchanged.
Sherrin added another chapter into its long and storied history by becoming the official maker of AFLW game-balls when the national competition began in 2017.
The AFL’s commercialisation saw the first sponsor introduced on the footy for the 1992 finals series, before team sponsor logos were printed onto the game-balls from 2006.
AVJennings has proudly adorned St Kilda’s official AFL game-ball and AFL training-ball since 2017, with the company first joining the club’s community in 2016 as its official Coaches’ partner.
The Australian residential developers expanded their backing of the Saints by signing on as the club’s inaugural women’s side’s sleeve sponsor in 2019.