KENDALL MOURNS LOSS
Howard Kendall has joined those offering tributes to the late Alan Ball.
News of Ball's untimely death broke on Wednesday morning and Kendall was quick to pay tribute to the footballing great.
It was a massive shock and it is a sad loss," said Kendall. "I would meet with Alan regularly on the after dinner speaking circuit.
"He was always bubbly, on and off the field and he was undoubtedly the best player I ever played with."
Kendall recalled how 1966 World Cup winner Ball's positive attitude on the pitch was often key in Everton's - and England's - success.
"When things were going wrong on the pitch he was the one who put them right. He was never down.
"The World Cup was where he really made his name and the final really typified the way he played."
Ball was ever-popular with Everton supporters, even after leaving Goodison Park.
"I was with him a couple of weeks ago when he was the guest speaker at an event and he was singing the praises of the Everton fans," continued Kendall.
"In turn they would always give him a tremendous reception."
Colin Harvey, the third member of the Holy Trinity with Kendall and Ball backed up Kendall's comments.
“He was the greatest. I am devastated – I really can’t believe it," said Harvey.
“I was with Alan about five weeks ago at a dinner at the Adelphi and he was his usual self – in smashing form. He was so dynamic, always making things happen.
“I obviously never saw Dixie Dean play but in my time as a supporter and a player Alan was the greatest I have seen at Everton. The fact that he was the man of the match in a World Cup final at 21 years of age says it all.
“Howard, Alan and myself were all different but when we came together as a midfield three we just clicked and gelled.
“He was the one who did everything at 100 miles an hour and he had such a great big heart as well as fantastic ability. It was a privilege to have played with him.”
Harvey, who managed as well as played for Everton added: “This is such devastating news for everyone at Everton FC.
“I really cannot believe we have lost him not just so soon, but a year to the day after Labby died too.
“It’s a dreadful, shocking day. We will all miss him terribly.”