Blue Echo had the pleasure of interviewing Alan Ball's daughter Keely
When did you realise your dad was Alan Ball the footballer and not Alan Ball the father?
I was always conscious of him being a footballer like Christmas day when we couldn't open our presents until dad came home from training.
He was a loving father who would take us to school and pick us up which he could do because of his training. I was about 12 or 13 when I realised how big my dad was in his profession.
My boys talk of how lucky the Beckhams children are and I told them that's how it was for me, dad was mega!!
Did being the daughter of Alan Ball make you popular with the boys at school?
Not really. When he was manager at Southampton we had a lot of banter with children at school who were fans of Portsmouth.
As we got older and dad was manager of Southampton, people would buy us drinks in the pub because of who he was.
What was the first piece of football memorabilia your dad bought you and what was it?
Never really bought us anything like that. He had a World Cup cap that he kept in a box and things that were special to him. Things he had we had between us and not bought individually. He kept things that were special to him like his England Cap and a shirt that was a limited edition
Are you surprised that how much Everton fans think of your dad even to this present day?
Absolutely gobsmacked. We were invited up to the last game of the season against Newcastle by Ronnie Goodlass and were asked to attend a dinner the night before. When my sister and I walked into the room to the sound of Z cars 1,000 people were present which blew us away.
We never realised how much fans idolised him and the next morning at the hotel my sister and I were in shock, of course there were tears and we will never thank the Everton fans enough. They are crazy but a lovely crazy.
What was your dad's most memorable game for Everton?
It was the game against Manchester United in 1967 when we won 3-1. He bought us the copy of the game on a dvd for us to keep.
What was his favourite past times hobbies etc?
Golf and horse racing. He used to go and watch the horses on the gallops of a morning.
Who was his closest friend away from football?
A man called Terry Hussey, a mad Evertonian based in Southampton who is married to the late Bobby Stokes's ex wife who in fact was my dancing teacher. His best friend in football was Mick Channon.
At Everton he was very close to Colin Harvey and Howard Kendall.
There was another guy on Merseyside very close to my dad, a man called Jim Buckley who runs Alan Ball soccer.
He had lots of friends my dad, a very loyal person.
After a game what was your dad like to live with when he lost?
Oh My God, are you joking me? My whole life was football growing up. My mum was a big football fan and massive dad fan and he didn't do anything without her and everybody laughs at me when II say that but that is the God's honest truth. He never did anything without my mum's say so.
Dad was old school, he was very passionate about his game and yes he brought it home but he never took it out on us.
As a manager he was even worse and as a family we would sit there on a Friday night and pick the team and that is the truth. He would always ask my mum what she thought.
She would travel the length and breadth of the country for him as he would even to ask her to watch players for him. She was a really big support to him and did nothing without her.
Was he disappointed he wasn't successful as manger as he was a player?
Er yeah, I think he was, he had his moments. My dad was let down many times so many times as he took people for face value. He made some wrong decisions but at the end of the day he had a family to look after.
If you asked Matt Le Tissier, he would say that dad was the best person he played under. Lawrie Mac is another who thought the world of my dad and even now his wife Ann and Lawrie are in contact with us, a very loyal man is Lawrie.
I could pick up the phone and speak with him anytime. He loved my dad and dad loved him
What was his favourite holiday destination?
He always took my mum to Barbados. He went Australia with Mick (Channon) after my mum died and he enjoyed that, he also took mum out there to get treatment when she was ill and he loved the country. We also had a holiday home in Spain which we had for over 30 years.
How did you spend Christmas as a family?
It always revolved around football, dad would go to training. My mum would light a fire and tell us Father Christmas had been but we had to wait until dad came home around half twelve one o'clock or whatever time it was before we could open the presents .We were very impatient children (haha) then dad would relax but couldn't drink because he had a game the next day.
It was very different for him as a manager. I remember travelling lots and lots of miles over the festive season to go and watch him play. As children we were very privileged because wanted for nothing. We had nice clothes, nice houses, nice cars as dad was on top of his game and was a very successful footballer. It gave us a good life and he wasn't on a lot of money unlike today's players .Football gave us a good life
What were his views on Merseyside Derbies?
He always watched out for them and wanted them to win, Everton were his team. No matter what he was doing in football he always wanted them to beat the reds.
What was his best career goal?
It was the last goal in an Everton shirt against Newcastle United I think.
What were his views on fans who adored him as some fans named their Children/ pets after him?
Oh my God, it's crazy isn't it? We've met a guy when we came up here for the Newcastle game last season who came up to us and said "My dad named me after your dad" me and my sister couldn't stop laughing. I don't think dad realised people idolised him. I saw it and my sister saw it but dad didn't.
You know what my dad was just a down to earth Northern lad, he worked for everything he had, he didn't make a lot of money playing football, we were okay, and his mum and dad had nothing. No he never realised that people idolised him, he just enjoyed what he did and glad what he did for HIS people and he appreciated that.
How passionate was he about horse racing?
Yeah, he was very passionate. He had a few horse in his time all trained by Mick Channon.
During his playing days, which manager did he respect the most?
You know what, I don't know if he would agree with me or my brother or sister would agree with me but I'm going to have to say Lawrie Mac(McMenemy) Purely because i was born the year my dad was transferred from Everton to Arsenal. I can't speak for Everton and I wished he was here to ask him but I would have to say Lawrie. He had the most respect for him.
What did he miss the most about the game when he retired?
I think the fitness side of it, getting out there with the lads and the banter and miss playing football which he enjoyed and you know what, he would have basked on my playing football with my boys and my nephews and would have done anything to get back out there.
You know, he was really, really fit he ran a lot, he had an Alsatian called Maxi and he would run to heel with him without a lead, he tried to keep himself as fit as he could so I think that's what he missed the most, the fitness side of it.
Was he ever offended when he was criticised by the media?
The whole family were, it's very difficult to take it on the chin, It's dad at the end of the day.
We had all sorts, such as bricks thrown through the window and when my dad left Southampton to go to Manchester City he received a lot of hate mail. People can be very horrible, I've got into trouble for retaliating and I know my brother has, he would fight the world
Mum was terrible, anybody said a wrong word about him and she would just fly at them.
As a player he would come home and say "I had a bad game" but as a manager he would pick the team and once 3 o'clock came and they players crossed that white line, then that was it.
Did your dad have to have a special diet that you all had to follow?
She used to cook special food for him when we were very young that was when he was at the height of his career. I remember him having a Guinness with a raw egg in and having lots of high protein.
Yeah as a player he did have special diets which mum cooked for him but we never had but as he got older we all ate the same.
Did your dad miss playing European football at club level once he left Everton?
I absolutely think he did because he had such a glorious time there , Once Everton have touched you nothing is the same which says it all really. You know, you make decisions in your life and they are not always the right one's but Everton were definitely HIS club
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