Allan Ball

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Allan Ball
Personal information
Date of birth (1943-02-26) 26 February 1943 (age 74)[1]
Place of birth Hetton-le-Hole, city of Sunderland, England
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1963–1982 Queen of the South 579 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Allan Ball (born 26 February 1943) is an English former footballer. Born in Hetton-le-Hole, city of Sunderland, Durham, Ball played as a goalkeeper, spending most of his professional career with Scottish club Queen of the South. Ball made 731 first team appearances for Queens, a club record, between 1963 and 1982. He also briefly played for Bishop Auckland, Stanley United and Gretna, and is now an Honorary Director with the Queen of the South.

Early years[edit]

Ball had been an inside left as a youngster. He took over the green jersey when the Durham County schools goalkeeper – future F.A. Cup winner Jimmy Montgomery – was injured during a game.[2][3]

As a 15-year-old, Ball deputised four times for Harry Sharratt in Bishop Auckland's goal. He doubled his weekly income from working at South Hetton coal mine as a pit electrician by signing for Stanley United.

Queen of the South player[edit]

In 1963 Allan Ball signed for Queen of the South for £100. Ball was signed in the early hours of the morning as he came off his shift.[4] Ball joined Queens playing staff that featured all time goals king of Queens, Jim Patterson, right winger Ernie Hannigan and fellow long servants Iain McChesney and Jim Kerr.[2]

Goalkeeper & manager George Farm dropped himself from the team to give Allan Ball his Queens debut in a 6–3 defeat to Falkirk. Retained for the following midweek match at Celtic, he again played well despite losing.[2]

Allan Ball made 819 Queen of the South appearances, including 507 consecutively, and was only once cautioned. That was by Tiny Wharton, on 25 December. "I'd said something about Jesus Christ," he recalls. "I was booked for blaspheming on Christmas Day."

Ball's performance in the 1975/76 Scottish League Cup quarter-final against Rangers at Ibrox Park helped keep Rangers to a 1–0 defeat. A 2–1 victory for Queens in the second leg at Palmerston meant extra time after an aggregate 2–2 score. Jocky Dempster was one of the Queens scorers. An extra time goal for Rangers saw them through.[2]

In the 1975/76 Scottish Cup Ball made a penalty save with a broken ankle in the away 2–2 fourth round draw with Ayr United. He did not play in the 5–4 replay victory.[2] [5]

In 1980–81 with Allan Ball as goalkeeper Queens were promoted from Division Two. Also in the side were fellow long servant Iain McChesney, Crawford Boyd and Jimmy Robertson and future manager Rowan Alexander.[2]

Allan Ball's long service as Queens last line of defence was rewarded with two testimonials, the first versus Carlisle United in 1971 and the other in 1984 against Manchester City. Danny McGrain, Davie Cooper, Gary Mackay and Rowan Alexander guested for Queens in the game against City.[2]

Gretna[edit]

After Queens Allan Ball played for Gretna.[2]

After playing[edit]

Ball became a successful motor dealer in Dumfries.

On 11 December 2001 Queens announced, "Last night Queen of the South created a new position when former goalkeeper Allan Ball was made "Honorary Director"". Ball is still at the club in this role.[2]

Allan Ball still lives in Dumfries where away from football he plays golf with friend and former 1960s Queens club mate Billy Collings.

Ball commented, "I still get back to Hetton quite a bit but I wouldn't like to leave Dumfries," at the time of Queen of the South's qualification for the 2008 Scottish Cup final. "Right now I'm probably the happiest Sassenach in Scotland."

External links[edit]

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