Chance to see 1966 World Cup football made in Wakefield

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A new exhibition showcasing sporting items made at the old William Sykes factory in Horbury is to open later this month.

The ‘Playmakers’ exhibition at Wakefield Museum will allow visitors to find out more about the items produced at the factory, which was at the cutting edge of sports production for more than a century.

John Whitaker, curator at Wakefield Museum, said: “It’s been a good opportunity to start a new collection.

“It focuses on a time when sports leisure brands became household names.

“William Sykes was at the forefront of this period and the exhibition focuses on the factory, from its opening in the 1870s and goes right up to the end of the story, when the factory closed in 1986.”

Some of the items on display include a football produced for the 1966 World Cup Final, tennis rackets used by former world number one Steffi Graf and a Don Bradman cricket bat.

“A lot of these items show the craft and history and these were handmade items made to an extremely high quality,” added John.

The free exhibition opens on Saturday, November 26 and runs until July 2017.