Date:Wednesday April 25 2007
Although this column is about Birmingham City, it's impossible to ignore today's sad news in the football world.
Most people of a 'certain age' will have their own memories of Alan Ball, probably crowned by his achievement of being a World Cup winner.
As the youngest member of the England squad, he was only 21 on that June day when we held the Jules Rimet trophy for the one and only time.
Alan Ball started his professional career at Blackpool. The son of a player and manager, he made his league debut at the age of 17.
By 1965 he had won his first cap for England and was still a Blackpool until August 1966 when he joined Everton for a then record fee.
He also played for Arsenal and Southampton and like many players, moved on to management, but never found the success he had as a player.
He was a tireless midfielder, covering miles in every game and despite his diminuitive size was utterly fearless.
His passion for the game and his zest for life shone through, even in recent years when he had suffered considerable personal tragedy.
It's shocking that his life has been cut short at a comparatively young age, and Vital Birmingham would like to pass on their condolences to his family and friends.
RIP Alan Ball - Heaven's Eleven just acquired a new player.
Birmingham Triumph In Senior Cup (Thursday October 30 2014)
Nod of Approval from Jackett (Thursday October 30 2014)
Burton Expected Exist of Manager (Thursday October 30 2014)
Rowet on Rolling Deal (Thursday October 30 2014)
Davis Wants Three Points for Birmingham (Thursday October 30 2014)
Blues Players React to Training Change (Wednesday October 29 2014)
Rowett Anything BUT Concerned (Wednesday October 29 2014)
Arthur Indebted To Lee Clark (Wednesday October 29 2014)
Birmingham Supporters Turn to Football League (Wednesday October 29 2014)
Clark Linked With Blackpool (Wednesday October 29 2014)
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