Ball, Alan

Birth Date

12th May 1945

Birthplace

Farmworth

Occupation

Manager

Biographical Text

Alan Ball rose to fame in the 1960s as the youngest player of England’s World Cup winning team.Though England as a team emerged heroically from the tournament, Ball was one of the players regarded as individual success, especially as he was one of the more inexperienced members of the squadwith no proven record at the very highest level. Eventually, his World Cup heroics led him to Everton. Whilst there, Ball was instrumental in the team which won his first and only major domestic honour – the 1969-70 Football League Championship title. However, it wasn’t until 1971 when he was transferred to Arsenal for what was at the time a record purchase of £220,000. Overall, throughout his career as a player, he scored more than 180 league goals in a career spanning 22 years.

Following his playing career, Ball had previously managed Blackpool, Stoke City, and Portsmouth before replacing Terry Cooper at Exeter in 1991 .Although during his time at St. James’ Park the Grecians struggled, Ball still managed to keep them in the old Third Division. His most memorable achievement, however, was the development of a fantastic youth policy. To quote City director Stuart Dawe: “The kids who have come here have done so because they want to be with a man of the calibre of Alan Ball. He puts somuch time into them."City’s highly praised manager himself confirmed that “with the high-profile youth policy that I introduced to St. James’ Park, I am sure Exeter City will be blessed with talent in years to come’’. Unfortunately, Ball is said to have made that that comment shortly beforetaking a position with Southampton in 1994. Subsequently, he managed Manchester City and Portsmouth before retiring in 1999.

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