Alan Ball the man in white boots, enjoy the reading

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Alan Ball joined Arsenal from Everton back in October 1971. A new club record fee of £220.000 was paid to obtain the services of one of the best midfielders in football. He had prior to his Arsenal move won the World Cup with England and also winning EFL 1st division with Everton in 1970, also a runners-up medal from the FA Cup with Everton.

His move to Arsenal came just after the club had won their famous double and Ball being the start to peak it even more and everything looked perfect as Arsenal reached the final of the FA Cup in 1972. The Gunners had a good 1st division season ending 5th just six points behind the winners, Derby County.

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At the age of 26 Arsenal signed a player at a perfect age, and of course being among their best performers during his time with the club also getting the England captaincy for that special West Germany friendly 2-0 Wembley win, playing the current World Cup holders of the parket.

But a bit of an injury situation never made it possible to build on that first season as the team at Arsenal were at a decline and rebuild with Alan Ball just being in the mix of a shift in players, seeing a great number of players leaving, such as Charlie George, Ray Kennedy, Frank McLintock, Bob McNab.

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Ball did play on but when reaching the age of 31 he did see a chance to move on and signed for Southampton for a fee of £60.000, but still very much in shape and capable of doing many more seasons at the top as he helped The Saints back to the top flight and being a key player at The Dell for seasons to come.

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Ball played a total of 177 league games, scoring 45 goals, in his five years at Arsenal, and also made his final caps for England while with Arsenal, building a total of 72 caps in which he scored 8 goals.

His days at Arsenal never became as great as he would have liked probably, but was highly rated by fans and seen as one of the real giants of this club going back.

Alan Ball had a career as manager as well being in charge of a number of clubs in football, being in charge at Man City and Southampton both in the top flight when Ball was at the wheel.

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Alan Ball sadly passed away in 2008 only 61 years of age. A long life in football being a manager, coach and player for a number of teams on several different continents. To look up more details you have Wikipedia as a source


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