Vital Football

Rest In Peace Bally

Rest In Peace Bally

I woke this morning to the very sad news that football had lost one of its all time greats with the news Alan Ball had died at the age of 61, after suffering a fatal heart attack on Tuesday night.

In a day and age when some only have to have a good game or two to be classed as a 'legend', Ball was just that - a true legend and I defy anyone to question this. Along with a select band Ball achieved what only a few Englishmen have ever achieved - and are likely to achieve for that matter, he picked up a World Cup Winners medal after playing a major part in helping England win the 1966 World Cup. This alone was enough for his legend status, but he was more than just a World Cup winner, this just gave him extra credence for such a title.

Ball's connections to the club down the road were always likely to prove hard for some to overcome, and so this proved after his arrival in 1984. After two seasons of knocking on the promotion door back to Division One, the days when this was the modern day equivalent of the Premiership, Ball took us back to the top flight in 1987. We suffered an instant return to Division Two but he had taken us there! After our relegation, as the financial difficulties kicked in we struggled in the Second Division - as we did for the majority of the years before our promotion to the Premiership - and Ball was sacked in 1989.

If it was hard for the fans to accept Ball the first time round after his playing connection to Southampton, a 16 month spell in charge of them as a manager, saving them from relegation from the Premiership in the mid 1990's meant some took to him even less when he returned for a second spell at Fratton Park early in 1998. He returned with us cut adrift at the foot of the old Division One but again made himself a hero to the Fratton faithful when he saved us from relegation with a dramatic final day win over Bradford. With the club in financial crisis Ball was relieved of his duties at the end of 1999 and didn't manage again.

My feelings on Ball arriving at Fratton Park after his relationships with our rivals is no different to any other, these are things that are in the past and as far as I'm concerned they are just another team, as soon as they cross that border to the Blue side they are one of us and as such I get behind them as I would any other with Pompey connections. My feelings are it takes nerve and courage to do this once let alone twice as Bally did.

On a personal note my sister and I, along with a small group of Pompey fans had the honour of meeting Mr Ball and Milan Mandaric at a hotel in Swindon shortly after Milan's arrival. In this short time spent in the company of Ball it is easy to see why he was so popular. I'm glad to say I had the privilege of shaking the hand of the squeaky viewed pint sized dynamo.

Alan Ball, not only an English legend but a Pompey legend as well. Without Ball we wouldn't have enjoyed a brief return to the top flight in the mid 1980's and without him it is highly likely that we wouldn't have remained in the second level of English football for as long as we had before finally returning to the top flight, to be on the verge of taking our place in Europe for the first time in our history - be that this season or in seasons in the not too distant future.

Ball's induction into the English Football Hall of Fame was the least he deserved; his MBE awarded in 2000 was long overdue but not enough! I still find it hard to understand why some members of that World Cup winning team were knighted Sirs but not all of them including Ball? Other than scoring a hat trick in the final - I know this is not something that happens every day, but did Sir Geoff Hurst really do much more for England than Ball, or did he achieve more in football than Ball to deserve this?

This is a sad time for English football, all of those that knew Ball and had a connection with him. My thoughts are with his family and I'm sure we will show our feelings towards him on Saturday when we return to Fratton Park.

Rest in Peace SIR Alan Ball.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:pompeyrug
Date:Wednesday April 25 2007
Time: 11:26AM

Best of Vital Network

Comments

0
i've just heard Alan Ball died last night. he was only 61. tragic. my favourite memory of him was the speech he gave to Pompey fans over the PA before the must win game at Bradford in 1998. he told us to stay off the pitch and keep right behind the team. RIP Alan Ball
The Rabbi
25/04/2007 11:48:00
0
To a footballing legend R.I.P.From Vital Southend.
Ed Junior
25/04/2007 12:32:00
0
I was lucky enough to attend a dinner at Fratton Park where Alan Ball was one of the speakers, He spoke of his time as a footballer and mainly of the world cup and i left seeing him in a whole new light and having thoroughly enjoyed the evening. RIP Bally you were a true great.
Steve C
25/04/2007 16:43:00
0
RIP Alan Ball a true football legend in every sense of the word!
VitalPompeyAdmin
25/04/2007 16:57:00
0
Such a shame, RIP Alan Ball, my thoughts are with his family & friends
CharlieChimes
25/04/2007 18:43:00
0
Condolences to all his family from all at Vital Rotherham
herringthorpe
25/04/2007 18:48:00
0
goodbye squeaky
paultsmouth
25/04/2007 20:36:00
0
Met him at a store opening, was happy to pass the time of day with me and the kids. He said to them, 'just go for it, i did and won the world cup, don't let anyone tell you that you cant do something'. R.I.P. Alan.
pompey4me
25/04/2007 22:58:00
0
Rest in peace, alan, it's times like this that, as an athiest, I hope I'm wrong. I hope you are, once again with Lesley and your father. Rest in peace.
Et_tu_Pompeii
25/04/2007 23:13:00
0
Gone before his time. A footBALLing legend that Pompey fans will always hold in high esteem. Trust we will hold a minutes silence on Saturday.
pompeygray
26/04/2007 01:22:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Recent Portsmouth Articles

We know Danny you want to stay!

In case we had forgot Hollands has reminded us of his desire to stay with Pompey! I'm not 'desperate' either way in many ways but sorting this quickly would be best for all concerned.

Three more pre-season games announced

'Glamour ties' are loved but pre-season is about fitness and form so it doesn't matter if it's Barcelona or Bognor... Then again a trip to the Nou Camp wouldn't be turned down!

On this day in history...24th May

A look back at this day in history, and what was happening with Pompey courtesy of our sister site PompeyRama, 24th May.

Sheffield United loanee open to Pompey return

McNulty would welcome a permanent transfer to Pompey. Although the Sheffield United striker could well be part of new manager Wilder's plans, so the chances seem 50:50 at best?

Archived Vital Pompey Articles

Vital Pompey articles from

Site Journalists

pompeyrug
Editor email
Profile
eastneydave
Editor email
Profile
paultsmouth
no email
Profile
Chix
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

PO - Plymouth MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Allsop6%
Davies4%
Burgess21%
Barton51%
Stevens0%
Evans0%
Hollands2%
Doyle8%
Bennett0%
McNulty4%
Roberts0%
Sub - McGurk2%
Sub - Close0%
Sub - Chaplin2%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Northampton 46 29 12 5 99 36
P Oxford 46 24 14 8 86 43
P Bristol Rovers 46 26 7 13 85 31
4 Accrington 46 24 13 9 85 26
5 Plymouth 46 24 9 13 81 26
6 Portsmouth 46 21 15 10 78 31
7 Wimbledon 46 21 12 13 75 14
8 Leyton Orient 46 19 12 15 69 -1
9 Cambridge 46 18 14 14 68 11
10 Carlisle 46 17 16 13 67 5
11 Luton 46 19 9 18 66 2
12 Mansfield 46 17 13 16 64 8
13 Wycombe 46 17 13 16 64 1
14 Exeter 46 17 13 16 64 -2
15 Barnet 46 17 11 18 62 -1
16 Hartlepool 46 15 6 25 51 -23
17 Notts County 46 14 9 23 51 -29
18 Stevenage 46 11 15 20 48 -15
19 Yeovil 46 11 15 20 48 -16
20 Crawley 46 13 8 25 47 -33
21 Morecambe 46 12 10 24 46 -22
22 Newport 46 10 13 23 43 -21
R Dag & Red 46 8 10 28 34 -35
R York 46 7 13 26 34 -36
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Portsmouth Results (view all)

Portsmouth Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.pompeyrug66
2.storagematt30
3.FrattonBlue22
4.Copnor4321
5.mslorna4820
6.Emsworthianblue11
7.eastneydave10
8.Ronald Wilson7
9.Jimsmithswig7
10.PompeyFromtheUSA4