Today’s Star Strip features a 21-year-old Alan Ball whose career was very much in the ascendancy at the time. It’s early days in his time at Everton, the club he recently joined in a big money move from Blackpool after impressive performances for England as the youngest member of its World Cup winning squad.
The term midfield dynamo could have been invented to describe Ball, a whirling dervish of energy and aggression all over the park. He could tackle, pass and score goals – something he did with some regularity over the course of his career playing at outside-right or as an attacking midfielder.
A black and white cartoon strip is of course limited in being able to convey subtleties of hair colour, yet still this particular Star Strip doesn’t come at all close to doing justice to Ball’s trademark shock of red hair. In the full-frame drawing of Ball in the second row, he actually resembles a younger version of the contemporary comedian Rob Brydon!
Ball sadly passed away in 2007 at the age of just 61.