IT’S the great Southampton ball hunt.

Saints are challenging fans to play Find the Ball on an epic scale by hiding 500 limited edition footballs around the county today.

And, if you are lucky enough to spot one, not only do you win it but you can also ‘earn your stripes’ by winning Saints’ new kit before it goes on sale.

Simply take a selfie of yourself with it and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #EarnYourStripes to enter the contest.

Ten winners will then be drawn at random and invited to collect one of the first home shirts off the production line at an event next Friday evening, the night before the kit officially goes on sale.

And you can also send your selfies to and see Monday’s Daily Echo for an update.

WestQuay is one of the places the balls have been left and Saints stars Jos Hooiveld and Paulo Gazzaniga were at the shopping centre to meet fans and sign autographs.

Hundreds lined up around the shopping centre to get autographs and their pictures taken with the star pair.

Southampton school pupils Barnaby Taylor, Charlie Harrigan and Joe Case, all 14, said they were thrilled to meet two of their heroes.

Barnaby, who goes to King Edward VI School, said: “They were great to chat to and they are looking forward to the new season. We chatted about last season and they said they were hoping we could build on our success and stay in the top ten.”

The boys added they hoped new manager Ronald Koeman brings in top talent like Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku.

If you need some help tracking down the balls make sure you add ‘southamptonfc’ on Snapchat as the club will reveal clues where to find the balls throughout the day.

Saints staff were out at 5am today dropping balls in places including the Common, Winchester Cathedral and Eastleigh town centre.

Where to find the balls:


Eastleigh: Shopping area

Winchester: Cathedral

New Forest: Training ground Houses around the corner