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29 October 2014
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Alan Ball MBE
Alan Ball MBE 1945-2007

A tribute to Alan Ball

The former Stoke City manager and England World Cup hero Alan Ball has died of a heart attack at the age of 61. Listen to tributes from Gordon Banks, Stoke City chairman Peter Coates and former players George Berry and Wayne Biggins...

Alan Ball's career

  • Born: Lancashire 12/05/1945
  • Playing career: Played for Blackpool, Everton, Arsenal, Southampton, Philadelphia Fury, Vancouver Whitecaps (player manager), Blackpool (player manager), Southampton, Eastern (Hong Kong), Bristol Rovers
  • Managerial career: Portsmouth, Colchester, Stoke, Exeter, Southampton, Manchester City, Portsmouth
  • Honours: World Cup (1966), league title (1970)

English football has lost one of its most iconic figures with the death of former Stoke City manager and World Cup winner Alan Ball at the age of 61. It's thought he'd been trying to put out a bonfire when he collapsed and died.

Former England goalkeeper and Stoke City legend Gordon Banks spoke exclusively to BBC Radio Stoke's John Acres about his friend and former team mate. He described Ball as a "great, great footballer"...

audio Gordon Banks pays tribute to Alan Ball >
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Stoke City Chairman Peter Coates and former Stoke City players George Berry and Wayne Biggins also paid tribute to a great man...

Ball managed Stoke between 1989 and 1991 and spent 15 months at the old Victoria Ground. He took the club to their worst ever league position - they were relegated to the old third division and dropped down the table.

Ball had a long playing and managerial career spanning 21 years, with clubs including Everton, Arsenal, Stoke City, Southampton and Manchester City.

But he'll be most remembered for his part in the 1966 world cup win. He was the youngest member of Sir Alf Ramsey's side on that famous day in 1966.

Ball, who was awarded the MBE in 2000, embodied the the spirit and drive of the side which fulfilled the hopes and dreams of the nation when it mattered most.

Click on the links below to read the BBC Sport report and tribute to Alan and look at his life in pictures...

last updated: 01/05/07
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