Kevin Ball

Kevin Ball (born 12 November 1964) is an English former footballer who played for Portsmouth, Sunderland, Fulham and Burnley. Since his retirement, he has held a number of positions at Sunderland, including twice being caretaker manager, and is currently working as club ambassador.

Kevin Ball
Personal information
Full name Kevin Anthony Ball
Date of birth (1964-11-12) 12 November 1964 (age 55)
Place of birth Hastings, England
Playing position(s) Defender / Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1982 Coventry City 0 (0)
1982–1990 Portsmouth 105 (4)
1990–1999 Sunderland 340 (21)
1999–2000 Fulham 18 (0)
2000–2002 Burnley 82 (2)
Total 545 (27)
Teams managed
2006 Sunderland (caretaker)
2013 Sunderland (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing careerEdit

Born in Hastings, Ball began his career in central defence but eventually moved into central midfield. He played 389 games for Sunderland in all competitions, scoring 27 goals. His career took off with a spell at Portsmouth and, after leaving Sunderland, he had spells at Fulham and Burnley. Whilst at Sunderland, he played in the 1992 FA Cup Final where they lost 2-0 to Liverpool.[1]

Ball, a former club captain, was named Sunderland Player of the Year for the 1990–91 season, and again in 1996–97, the year they were relegated from the Premier League. He was part of the Sunderland sides that won First Division titles in 1996 and 1999.[2]

Managerial careerEdit

Between 6 March and 8 May 2006 Ball acted as Sunderland caretaker manager for the last ten games of the 2005–06 season following the sacking of Mick McCarthy, taking five points from these games.[3] Although Ball expressed his interest in the manager's job on a full-time basis, incoming chairman Niall Quinn was keen for the club to appoint a 'world-class manager' following the club's takeover by the Drumaville Consortium, ruling Ball out of the running. Ball remained at Sunderland under the new regime, returning to his former post of assistant academy manager.

Manager Martin O'Neill promoted Ball to become the club's senior professional development coach in July 2012, which included being responsible for the club's reserve team and the club's under-21 players. In 2013, he again became caretaker manager following the sacking of Paolo Di Canio.[4] Ball's first game in charge resulted in a 2-0 home win over Peterborough in the League Cup. He oversaw a further two games,[5] before Gus Poyet was appointed to the role.[6] He currently works as a club ambassador for Sunderland.[7]

Honours and awardsEdit

As a playerEdit



  • Sunderland Player of the Year: 1996/97
  • Sunderland Solid Gold XI[8]


  1. ^ "Liverpool 2 - 0 Sunderland". Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Kevin Ball". Sunderland A.F.C. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  3. ^ Newhouse, Sam (26 March 2013). "Does sacking a manager late in the season work?". London: The Independent. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Kevin Ball steps into breach as Sunderland wait to name new boss". Sky Sports. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  5. ^ "The Managers: Kevin Ball". Sunderland A.F.C. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Gus Poyet: Sunderland name Uruguayan as new head coach". BBC Sport. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  7. ^ Johns, Craig (9 November 2017). "Kevin Ball: Sunderland are working hard to get the right man in as soon as possible". ChronicleLive. Trinity Mirror North East. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Solid Gold XI". Sunderland A.F.C. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Gary Bennett
Sunderland A.F.C. captain
1995 - 1999
Succeeded by
Steve Bould