Ball MBE, Alan James

The youngest of England’s world cup hero’s was born in Farnworth, Lancashire on 12 May 1945 and was educated in Shropshire at Oswestry’s Boy’s High School. Whilst at school ‘Bally’ played for Wolves juniors but the club decided not to offer him a contract so he turned to Bolton Wanderers who again turned him down. He had trials at Blackpool thanks to his father ‘Alan’ who played along side one of Blackpool’s coaches. He turned professional with the Tangerines in May 1962. After making 126 apps and netting 35 goals he moved to Everton for a British record transfer fee and he helped them to the league championship in 1970 and to two FA Cup final, winning in 1966. 78 goals and 250 appearances later he moved to Arsenal again for a British transfer record. He helped Arsenal to the League runners-up spot in 1973. He then went on to play for Southampton, Philadelphia Fury, Vancouver Whitecaps, Blackpool once again, Southampton for a second spell, Hong Kong’s Easter A. A. and Bristol Rovers. He then went into management and had stints at Blackpool, Portsmouth, Stoke City, Exeter City, Southampton, Manchester City and Portsmouth. Ball also had a spell as Assistant Manager at Colchester United along side Jock Stein before joining Stoke City. Alan Ball, who made 72 appearances for the national team died at his home in Warsah, Hampshire, on 25 April 2007. His remembrance service and public funeral took place at Winchester Cathedral on 3 May 2007. His father James Alan played for Southport, Birmingham City, Southport, Oldham Athletic and Rochdale.

Football League Appearances: 743, Goals: 170.