Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farewell to the 'Little Dynamo'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farewell to the 'Little Dynamo'

Article excerpt

Sir Bobby Robson has paid tribute to World Cup-winning hero Alan Ball who died from a suspected heart attack after battling to put out a bonfire in his garden on Tuesday.

Police confirmed the 61-year-old was found collapsed at his home overnight and later confirmed dead.

Ball was the youngest member of the team that lifted the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 and the second member of the 1966 side to pass away ( after captain Bobby Moore in 1993 ( was described as 'a little dynamo' by the former Newcastle boss.

Robson said: "He could see the pass and play it. Take a chance on goal and score. He was a whirlwind of a player, a little dynamo. Alan was a World Cup hero and will never be forgotten. He loved life and was a bubbly character. He was good company and his death is a big shock.

"He was with me in Portugal last year at my annual charity golf event which I run to raise money for homeless kids over in Vila Sol. He sat on the top table with me and kept me entertained all night. Alan's death is a huge loss to the game. He was a great lad and a very, very fine player."

Robson joined the long list of football stars to praise Ball, whose unflinching determination and infectious enthusiasm played a major role in securing the Jules Rimet Trophy for England, including his former England team-mates and leading figures in football .

Sir Bobby Charlton believed Ball's role in the 4-2 Wembley final win could not be underplayed. He said: "He was probably the best player that day and if it had not been for his impact the result could have been totally different. Alan was always bright and bubbly and he always had a smile on his face."

And Ball's room-mate Nobby Stiles recalled how Ball's unstinting commitment and seemingly bottomless reserves of energy had helped carry him through the final leg-sapping moments of extra-time.

Stiles said: "With eight minutes to go I went to knock the ball across to the far post but I wasted the chance and I remember thinking, 'I've nothing left, I can't move'. Bally spotted me and just ran up and said, 'Move, you b******, move!' He got me going again because I was absolutely gone. …

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