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Ball And Labone Remembered

Our tribute to two true Everton legends.

Ball And Labone Remembered
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Too often in the world of football the word legend is spouted without true justification.

But pick away at the fabric of this football club and it is undeniable the legacy created by Brian Labone and Alan Ball makes them worthy recipients of such a distinguished prefix.

Taken at the tragically young ages of 66 and 61 respectively, today, April 24, and tomorrow, April 25, mark the eighth and seventh anniversaries of their sad and untimely passings.

Perhaps the greatest achievement by the revered duo was their contribution to Everton’s emphatic league championship triumph under Harry Catterick in the 1969/70 campaign.

Individually, however, their relationship with Evertonians went far beyond a single season of glory – however notable.

Brian Labone prepares to receive the FA Cup from Princess Margaret in 1966. Brian Labone prepares to receive the FA Cup from Princess Margaret in 1966.

Indeed, their ties with this Club - much like their hero status among those on the terraces - were endearing.

And Labone’s famous declaration that ‘one Evertonian is worth 20 Liverpudlians’, coupled with Ball’s assertion that ‘once Everton has touched you, nothing will be the same’, means supporters’ admiration for the pair is rightly timeless.

In addition to that 1970 league triumph, Labone picked up a title winner's medal in 1963 and sampled FA Cup glory after one of the most dramatic Wembley finals of all time three years later.

Ball, meanwhile, joined Everton just weeks after dazzling for England in their famous 1966 World Cup final win over West Germany, and, fusing industry and determination with breathtaking natural ability, became an instant fans’ favourite.

In the decades after hanging up their boots, both players continued to make regular trips to Goodison Park; the respect and adoration which existed between the two men and their club forever mutual.

Alan Ball leads out teamAlan Ball leads Everton out

Indeed, Labone worked tirelessly on matchdays, looking after sponsors and making himself typically accessible to all he encountered.

Even on the night of his passing, the former defender was among Evertonians, attending a supporters' awards night in the Winslow public house on Goodison Road.

Despite managing and having strong connections with a number of other clubs, including Stoke City, Manchester City and Portsmouth, Ball served as honorary president of both the Everton Collection Charitable Trust and the official members’ club, Evertonia (now FOREVERTON), and dedicated much of his time to a Club with which he felt an unwavering, lasting attachment.

Legends in the truest sense of the word, Brian Labone and Alan Ball, today and always, remain in the thoughts of everyone at Everton Football Club.

paul lawrencebally evertons little terrier was the best ever, unique!!

Friday 25th April 16:31 Report Comment

Philip SnowBrian Labone's testimonial was the only one I ever went to, that show's how much respect , both as a person and a player I had for him.

Friday 25th April 13:43 Report Comment

Tony ImundiAlan Ball is my favourite Everton player of the many I have watched over the last 50 years. His "give and go " style is what every young midfield player should try to emulate.

Thursday 24th April 21:45 Report Comment

Peter PorcelliI'm with you all the way Tony, Alan Ball.....The greatest of them all.

Friday 25th April 09:27 Report Comment

Sheila WhiteHow true this is - 2 wonderful Evertonians and ambassadors for our great Club. They will always be remembered in our hearts.

Thursday 24th April 20:46 Report Comment

thomas porterProper legends,true blues,the like I don't think will ever be seen again,great memories,always highly spoken of with real affection.

Thursday 24th April 15:08 Report Comment
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