Alan Ball always wanted to be the best. Small in stature, red-haired and fiery, Alan was one of the most recognisable players of his generation. Fans on the terraces and team mates immediately took to his whole-hearted enthusiasm and never-say-die attitude. Alan is a fighter - from overcoming his diminutive size to become a professional player and the youngest member of the 1966 England squad, to the rejection he repeatedly faced as a club manager.
In 2004 Alan faced the toughest battle of his life. His wife Lesley lost her fight with cancer. From the moment their daughter was diagnosed, to the shocking realisation that Lesley also had the disease; Alan learnt to cope in the face of insurmountable odds. His hugely successsful playing and managerial career that took him to Everton, Arsenal, Manchester City, and two World Cups with England took a back seat to the real test of character brought about by the illness of his loved ones. Now Alan is learning to live life without his beloved Lesley, while continuing to support his daughter whose cancer is in remission. (pb)