English footballer and football club manager. Ball started his footballing career whilst still a schoolboy, playing for Ashton United, the team his father managed, amongst the hurly burly of the Lancashire Combination. After headstrong dave asprey pdf left school, Wolves decided not to take Ball on.
The midfielder then started training with Bolton Wanderers but they too decided not to give him a professional deal, as manager Bill Ridding said he was too small. Blackpool signed him after Ball’s father called in a favour with the coach, an old friend with whom he used to play. Ball was given a trial in September 1961 and was immediately signed up as an apprentice. Ball’s performances in the 1966 World Cup winning England team attracted the attention of a number of clubs bigger than Blackpool. Back at club level, Everton again capitulated in the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1971, with Ball’s opening goal overhauled by two strikes from Merseyside rivals Liverpool, who went on to lose the final to “double”-chasing Arsenal. Ball played 259 times for the Toffees, in all scoring 79 goals. 220,000 to take Ball to Highbury.
Nottingham Forest on 27 December 1971. Ball remained one of the few quality players in the Arsenal side, and was made club captain in 1974. Ball’s move to Southampton was a bit symmetrical in that he had arrived at clubs, being Everton, Arsenal and Southampton in 1966, 1971 and 1976, when each were holders of the FA Cup. Ball then went to play in the decade-old North American Soccer League, joining the Philadelphia Fury as a player in May 1978. He returned to Britain in February 1980, as player-manager of his first club, Blackpool, after honouring the remainder of his contract with Vancouver.
Blackpool’s general manager Freddie Scott substituted in the meantime. The year that followed saw Blackpool’s recent ill-fortune slump even further. During the close season, Ball brought in several new faces and was also prepared to gamble on youngsters. After an FA Cup first-round win over Fylde Coast neighbours Fleetwood Town on 22 November, Ball publicly criticised the fans for allegedly not wanting the team to succeed as much as he did. In March 1981, Ball was tempted back to Southampton to play alongside fellow veterans and former England teammates Mick Channon and Kevin Keegan. 1 draw with Yugoslavia in Belgrade, three days before his twentieth birthday.
Ball was the youngest member of the squad of 22 selected by Ramsey for the tournament, aged only 21. Though England as a team emerged collectively heroic from the tournament, Ball was one of many players regarded as an individual success, especially as he was one of the more inexperienced charges with no proven record at the very highest level. The 98,000 crowd at Wembley witnessed a magnificent personal performance from Ball. Full of running, he continued to work and sprint and track back while teammates and opponents alike were out on their feet. With fewer than 15 minutes to go, he won a corner on the right which he promptly took. By now, Ball was one of the first names on Ramsey’s England teamsheet and he was in the squad which travelled as defending champions to the altitude of Mexico for the 1970 World Cup. Ramsey was sacked and Joe Mercer took over at a caretaker level, for whom Ball never appeared due to injury.
However, Ball’s relationship with his national side was enhanced and then soured beyond repair when Don Revie was appointed as Ramsey’s permanent replacement. After sustaining an injury in a pre-season friendly for Arsenal at Crewe Alexandra, Ball was not called up at all for England, let alone retained as captain, when Revie announced his squad for a game against Switzerland. Ball only found out when his wife took a call from a journalist asking for her reaction. Ball resumed his managerial career in May 1984 with Portsmouth and was a huge success. They just missed out on promotion to the First Division in his first two seasons as manager, and he finally guided them to the top flight in 1987. The following month he joined Colchester United as assistant to Jock Wallace and in October 1989 took up a similar post under Mick Mills at Stoke City.
91 they were one of the favourites for promotion. In July 1991 he was appointed as manager of Third Division Exeter City. 1993, though by the time he moved on they were on their way to relegation to the bottom tier. In January 1994, Ball left Exeter to take over the reins at Southampton, replacing the unpopular Ian Branfoot.
At the time of his appointment, Southampton seemed doomed to relegation, having spent virtually the whole season to that point in the drop zone. After 3 defeats over the Easter period, the Saints remained in the relegation zone. 10 points which were sufficient to confirm safety on the final day of the season. 95, Ball signed goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar but more significantly signed Le Tissier on a new 3-year deal. This result inspired the Saints, who won 5 of their remaining 10 games, to finish the season on a high in 10th place. Despite this success, Ball was tempted away in July 1995 to become Manchester City’s manager under the ownership of former England teammate Francis Lee.
2 with Liverpool on the final day of the season, but the other relegation-threatened teams fared better, and City were relegated on goal difference after seven successive seasons of top-flight football. The board kept faith with Ball, but he resigned three games into the Division One campaign. He felt that he had been forced to sell their best players due to City’s financial plight. In January 1998, Ball was contacted by Brian Howe, who informed him he was to make a takeover bid for the club and that he would like Ball to manage the club. This led to Ball returning to Portsmouth as manager in February 1998, however the take-over never came about. Ball was educated at Farnworth Grammar School.