Date:Wednesday April 25 2007
Alan Ball has passed away aged 61.
It's always sad when another person passes on, and even more so when that person was a good one.
I'm not going to be all phony and pretend that I was in tears over the news that Alan Ball had passed away, indeed his Arsenal career ended 2 years before I was even born.
But that is not to say I was not saddened.
There are many readers of this site who know all too well what Ball brought to a team, I mean, you don't become the youngest member of a world cup winning side for nothing.
Ball joined Arsenal in 1971 for a then club record of £200,000 and by all accounts went on to play extremely well for the club before going on to join Southampton some 5 years later.
Alan Ball, best known to me for his carrot top, high pitched voice and a tendency to give comical interviews to the press, endeared himself to most he came into contact with, no more so than Arsenal goalkeeping legend, Bob Wilson.
Bob Wilson recalls, 'Everyone can visualise him with his red hair and squeaky voice which is still there and will always be there.'
'He was such an infectious character, an extraordinary character - his love for the game was amazing. He would argue all the time, love to talk about the game - just an amazing character.'
'He was very combative. If anyone ever heard his after-dinner speech they would realise his passion and how big an influence his dad had been on his career. He would always stand on a chair to add to to his 5ft 6ins to make him bigger and then talk about his passion, how it was instilled from his father.'
'Right up to the 1966 finals - he would ring his dad and tell him he was in the squad - and his dad would say 'that ain't good enough son - I need you in the team'.'
Vital Arsenal would like to express it's deepest sympathies to the Ball family.
Rest in peace Alan.
Date:Wednesday April 25 2007
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