On December 23, 1976, Arsenal sold Alan Ball to Southampton for £60,000 after the midfielder scored 45 goals in 177 league appearances for Arsenal.
Alan Ball arrived at Arsenal in December 1971 and it was big news. Having just completed a double a few months earlier, Arsenal stumped up a British record transfer fee of £220,000 to sign Ball from Everton where he had made over 200 league appearances.
26 and at the height of his playing ability, Ball made his debut on December 27, five days after signing. He was made captain in 1974 but Arsenal were unable to replicate their double success of 70/71 during his time at the club, finishing as runners up in the league in ’72/73 and losing finalists in the FA Cup in 1972.
As the ’70/71 side were broken up, Ball remained one of the quality players at Arsenal until he was sold in 1976.
In all, Ball made 951 appearances for seven different clubs, scoring 211 goals.
At Arsenal he made a total of 218 appearances, scoring 52 goals – totals only bettered during his time at Everton before he arrived in London.
Ball was voted Arsenal’s 45th best player of all time.