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v West Brom

Saturday 13 September K.O. 15:00

McMENEMY'S TRIBUTE TO HIS FRIEND

Close friend and former manager Lawrie McMenemy has paid tribute to Alan Ball, who passed away in the night from a heart attack at the age of 61.

McMENEMY'S TRIBUTE TO HIS FRIEND

"He was the best one touch player I ever saw. We used to do some one touch in training and he would look up at me with those cheeky eyes and say 'half a touch will do for me'.

"When he started as a young player he got into the England team very early and he would call himself a scrapper. It was him and Nobby Stiles in there as the workers. But he developed from being that scrapper to one of the best, most delicate footballers with great vision.

"He was the main reason we got promoted in Southampton and I brought him in to do exactly that. Sometimes he would be sitting in the dressing room saying he didn't have it in him but the minute his feet touched the grass he lit up. He was like a performer on a stage and he was brilliant for any manager to have.

"He was the best player any player would ever play with. He was also one of the best family men you will ever come across. He was a lovely man and I personally cannot get over it."

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