Thomas William Sherrin (Tom sherrin ) was the youngest of five children of Robert Sherrin , who came to Australia from Ireland on the Lady Pell Ship in 1848 .
Tom Sherrin was trained as a saddler . He worked with leather every day repairing and manufacturing horse saddles, bridles and leather equipment. As today, Australian rules football was the most popular game in Australia on those days. The first twenty years of the game of Australian Rules Football, players often used Rugby balls from England . The early rugby balls were constructed of a stretched, dried and inflated pig’s bladder, with the bladder encased in stitched leather coating.
Tom sherrin was often asked to repair rugby balls as they are of leather. Soon Tom realised that Australian Rules football needed its very own football. Tom Sherrin developed a slightly new- shaped ball and developed a pattern that made it rounder on the points. The ball still oval in shape, which allowed it to bounce evenly, but the slight adjustment made it easier to kick.
At the tender age of 22, Tom scaped his pennies together and in 1879 started a small factory . The list of products manufactured by T.W.Sherrin Pty Ltd were as follows.
Australian Rules football
Cricketer balls and cricket equipments
Boxing gloves and boxing equipments
Basket balls and soccer balls
Athletic protectors and athletic equipments.
In 1915 the National Football league of Australia also cited the size and shape of the Sherri football as the standard to be produced for the footy.
Tom Sherrin is also remembered as the founding member of Collingwood Football Club. He was the club’s first number one ticket holder and a committee member for twenty years.
The Family behind Football by Syd Sherrin