Royal Blue Podcast Special: Alan Ball Departure 50 Year Anniversary
We’re reflecting upon the departure of an Everton legend, one of the greatest and most-influential players ever to don the royal blue jersey, Alan Ball.
Some 50 years ago this month on December 22 1971, Ball was sold by Everton manager Harry Catterick to Arsenal for a then British record fee of £220,000.
For those who recall the sale, it was Goodison’s Park’s very own version of a JFK assassination/Neil Armstrong moon landing – two huge global news events still fresh in the memory at the time – “where were you when you heard the news?” type moments but it also resonates for the many Evertonians who were either too young to remember or indeed not even born at that time.
Ball himself is famously quoted as saying: “Once Everton has touched you, nothing will be the same” but were the Blues fundamentally altered once they made the hugely-controversial decision to cash in on their prize asset some 50 years ago?
Host Chris Beesley is joined by BBC Sport’s chief football writer Phil McNulty, Gavin Buckland and David Prentice to discuss the impact of this decision that was so controversial, it's still being fiercely debated half a century later.