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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story That Touched Me More Than I Imagined
I got this book as part of a football book box set last Christmas and hadn't got round to reading it but once I started I couldn't out it down. The '66 World Cup happened before I was born but for any England fan I always had great affection for the little man that 'ran himself daft' that day.

This book got right into the detail of both the playing and...
Published on 23 Oct. 2009 by Mr. J. P. Orbell

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Peaking early
The front cover declared: "I'm not a believer in luck...but I do believe you need it" and it didn't improve much. Alan Ball was only twenty-one when the highlight of his career occurred - winning the world cup in 1966 with England. There was a sense in that everything after that was an anti-climax and yet he was Britain's most expensive player and did win the League with...
Published on 15 Dec. 2007 by Random Reader


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story That Touched Me More Than I Imagined, 23 Oct. 2009
By 
Mr. J. P. Orbell "J.P.Orbell" (Peterborough, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Playing Extra Time (Paperback)
I got this book as part of a football book box set last Christmas and hadn't got round to reading it but once I started I couldn't out it down. The '66 World Cup happened before I was born but for any England fan I always had great affection for the little man that 'ran himself daft' that day.

This book got right into the detail of both the playing and managerial side of the game and the injustice of how heartless football clubs can operate. Obviously we only have Ball's side of the story but such is the cynicism in the game I'm not entirely surprised to how the game was, and is, being run.

I think what got me was the total lack of respect for someone, one of only 11, who have won football's greatest prize was treated at times. I was shaken to read that a 10 year old boy had spat him while he was manager at Stoke and how he was made to carry the can for the farce that was Manchester City in the late 90s.

On the family side there is the moving tributes to his wife, Lesley, who died of cancer and for his family and friends. I think what particularly hit home for me personally was that her death followed a not dissimilar pattern of my mother's some five years later.

Alan Ball died two years after this book was written and seemed so alive that he must still be around somewhere. I remembering playing for Southampton and always noted his managerial progress because of the England connection so when he died of a heart attack in 2007 I felt I'd lost a relative too. By a quirk of fate his funeral was two years to the day before my mother died.

I may have made this review a bit more personal to me but if you are a football fan then this is a must read. In a way, despite the problems he encounted along the way, he say the golden age of football from the sixties until it began to eat itself with the money men of the Premier League.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Insight, 22 Sept. 2004
By 
Mark Hughes (Worsley, Lancs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Playing Extra Time (Hardcover)
The book not only had an emotional feel to it but i felt it was written in a quite frank and truth telling manner, it lets the reader know exactly what happens in some footballing clubs and lets the suppoters know that they should be venting anger out on the men in suits and not just the manger and players when things are not going well with their clubs, i would recommend this book as a great stocking filler, and a must read for fans of Stoke, Portsmouth, Southampton and Manchester City which will hopefully change some peoples views of this great 66 ledgend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bally, 4 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Playing Extra Time (Hardcover)
I purchased this book because Alan Ball was my daughters father in law and they now live in Seattle USA where Jimmy is a football coach. We are currently over visiting our grand children so it proved an opportune moment to get Jimmy Ball to sign is Dads book for me. It's a very human starry and a great read which will dispel many myths about Alan.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LITTLE MAN WITH A BIG HEART, 31 Jan. 2007
By 
This review is from: Playing Extra Time (Hardcover)
Mention Alan Ball and most football fans of a certain vintage, myself included, would say, World Cup winner,Blackpool star who became an Everton legend who then went to Arsenal and wore snazzy white boots, tireless little player...and a disasterous manager. A read of this book might just change a few people`s minds. It certainly did mine. As well as the stories involving the great players he played with and against and the games they were involved in, Ball lays it on the line when it comes to the people he doesn`t like. THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE and now we do. Ball comes across as a devoted father husband and son and the many unfortunate incidents involving his wife and children make for uncomfortable reading in a football book, but that`s just the way the wee man is. He tells it as it is. The game is poorer for his absence.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Peaking early, 15 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Playing Extra Time (Paperback)
The front cover declared: "I'm not a believer in luck...but I do believe you need it" and it didn't improve much. Alan Ball was only twenty-one when the highlight of his career occurred - winning the world cup in 1966 with England. There was a sense in that everything after that was an anti-climax and yet he was Britain's most expensive player and did win the League with Arsenal. One thing he did do in the book was dispel my positive image of Harry Catterick.

His Dad clearly has a massive influence on him and drove him on from the earliest age, helping him overcome the potential problem of his lack of height. Similarly his wife was a rock in his life and I felt that as he lost these two people in turn he really began to find himself. The most powerful part of the book is certainly his account of his beloved wife Lesley's unsuccessful fight against cancer. Here you see a glimpse of the real Alan Ball. Another notable story is the fun made of the manager Jock Wallace by a supporter as he was visibly unstable on his feet: "Wallace is pi**ed". He was actually hiding the fact he had developed Parkinson's disease.

All in all I enjoyed the history of the era of football and all the familiar names. However, unlike when he was on the pitch I felt Alan Ball kept a lot back in this book. He was famous for his third person "Alan Ball expects..." speech and maybe it is that observation of his life, as opposed to sharing from within, that limited the impact of this autobiography.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A 1966 Legend, 13 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Playing Extra Time (Hardcover)
What a character as a player and manager

They dont make them like Alan Ball these days and the book tells of a rich life in football
and sadness in finding his daughter and wife had both been diagnosed wiith cancer within afew weeks of each other.

The book tells of his personal battles in football and the battles his family faced together
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5.0 out of 5 stars On The Ball!, 25 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Playing Extra Time (Hardcover)
Have been reliving the golden era of English football by reading what our World Cup winners have to say of the times.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alan Ball, 13 Sept. 2008
By 
S. Gibbon - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Playing Extra Time (Paperback)
This book is a really good read but sadly this paperback version doesnt contain any photographs !!!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The World Cup, Relegating City and Motivational Speeches in the Third Person, 30 July 2009
By 
sb (Lancaster) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Playing Extra Time (Paperback)
I had an agenda when reading this book - what were his excuses for the ineptitude displayed when he was in charge of Manchester City FC. In short - he blames everyone but himself. In the chapter called 'My Mistake', Francis Lee is fingered by Ball as being reticent publicly when forcing him to sell players - players which in theory were the club's best, but when managed by Ball, or mis-managed, were turned into a collective of ineffective dead wood due to his policy of 'give everything to Kinkladze'. It would have been easy for anyone to blame the chairmen when forced to sell players at the end of a season that resulted in relegation - he seems to forget that it was his management all season that caused the relegation and forced Francis Lee's hand.

A small man with an inproportionately large chip on his shoulder, you get the sense when reading the book that he expected his success as a player (and to be honest, you can't deny the man his world cup winners medal) to directly translate into sucess as a manager. He didnt seem capable of admitting defeat and owning up to his inadequacies in the management game.

All in all, quite a one sided book, after all - 'Alan Ball says what Alan Ball wants you to hear, as Alan Ball expects'. For a more objective look at Alan Ball's career as player and manager, I would advise looking for an independant biographer's book about his life.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars on the ball, 31 Oct. 2007
By 
Christopher Wickenden (Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Playing Extra Time (Hardcover)
.. this book is good for any footballing fan who wants to know the truth about what goes on behind the scenes - and in a footballers mind. bally shows his passion for both football and family...it's a shame we don't have many footballers like him these days.
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