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Kevin Ball

Personal information
Full nameKevin Anthony Ball
Height1.79 m (5 ft 10.4 in)
Playing positionDefender / Midfielder

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Kevin Ball aka 'The Hatchet' (born 12 November 1964 in Hastings) is a former professional footballer and now coach. 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. 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, effectively ruling Ball out of the running. While speculation linked him with subsequent managerial vacancies at Colchester and Darlington, Ball remained at Sunderland under the new regime, returning to his former post of Assistant Academy Manager.

Ball began his career in central defence but was converted in his later career into a central midfielder. Ball is one of Sunderland's best-loved former players due to his committed style of play, playing 389 games for the club in all competitions, scoring 27 goals. He also had spells with Portsmouth and, after leaving Sunderland, Fulham and Burnley. Whilst at Sunderland, he played in the 1992 FA Cup Final where they lost to Liverpool.

He was named Sunderland F.C. Player of the Year for season 1996/97, the year they were relegated from the Premier League.

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