Joe Ball

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROM
01-04-1927
N/A
06-09-1943
Rivington Road School
DEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
17-04-1943 v Featherstone Rovers
08 - 10 - 1955 v Keighley
1955- Barrow
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)
1942-1955
135 (0)
TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
14
152
0
346

Biography of Joe Ball



HERITAGE NO : 572
Joe Ball by Denis Whittle

It has been finally confirmed that Joe Ball was the youngest ever Saint to make his first team debut. This fact was verified when his grandson, Alan, verified his date of birth. For the record his first match was at the tender age of 16 years and 16 days. Down the years the Rugby League hotbed of St. Helens has inevitably yielded a raft of local talent, many of whom became firm favourites with the Knowsley Road faithful. And none more so than scrum-half-cum-full-back Joe Ball, who signed for Saints during the dark days of the Second World War in 1943, and stayed with them until 1955, when he left for Barrow. Raised in Campbell Street and a veritable pocket battleship at 5 feet 5 inches and 12 stone, rosy-cheeked blond-haired Joe cut his oval ball teeth at Rivington Road School, whose headmaster was the legendary Harry Cook.

Cooky was later to become Saints Chairman, and was responsible for dispatching a clutch of boyhood starlets to the club, including Duggie Greenall, Eddie Cheetham, George Parr, Wilf Roach and, of course, Joe Ball himself. He vied for the Number Seven shirt with the likes of Welshmen Glan Jones and Steve Morris plus Blackbrook-born Frank Beesley. Though not overblessed with pace, Joe compensated for this with a football brain and, by way of versatility, played the odd game at hooker.

Ball competed for the full-back role with Eric Frodsham and Wiganer Jimmy Lowe and, statistically speaking, made 136 appearances for Saints in which he scored 14 tries and kicked 153 goals for a total of 348 points. He broke the goalkicking record while at Barrow in 1956, and wore the Number One jersey when the Shipbuilders lost 9-7 to Leeds at Wembley in 1957. Overall, he played 153 times for Barrow, from 1955-61, scoring 4 tries and kicking 309 goals.

A character imbued with a sunny disposition, Joe was also a useful cricketer, and was a familiar figure as a wicketkeeper-batsman on the St. Helens pitch at Windleshaw Road. His son Ian inherited much of his father`s oval ball skills and played Rugby Union at Moss Lane and Waterloo along with Steve Tickle, with the dynamic duo following Joe`s footsteps in trekking to Barrow.

As for Ball senior he remained a popular personality within St. Helens, only to die tragically of cancer in October 1964 at the untimely age of just 37. However his memory lingers on with the more venerable supporters of a Saints club where jovial Joe was quite simply part of the furniture for 12 happy seasons

The circumstances relating to Joe Ball`s debut are very interesting, writes Alex Service. The St. Helens Newspaper headline was quite dramatic: "Bravo Rivington Road! Ball breaks records at Featherstone". It certainly was a memorable debut for one so young. The esteemed correspondent Premier wrote in glowing terms about the youngster`s performance: "Incredible though it may seem, the best in the bunch was Ball. Suddenly there came a succession of scrums in front of the stand. Then from all sides came the same expression `Hey, look at that little lad`. It became a chorus of astonishment and encouragement which lasted as long as the game. Ball may not have known it, but he was making history. He was not only the youngest St. Helens player to take part in first team football, but he was also the youngest visiting player ever to taking part in a game against Featherstone at Featherstone. He was short of nothing except experience. So well did he shape that when there was a try to be converted and a couple of penalty shots at goal to be taken in a nasty cross wind, he was given the opportunity of showing he could kick goals as well as play half-back. Anyhow, Ball`s own colleagues patted him on the back for his plucky, capable and courageous and undaunting show. Featherstone directors did likewise. In fact, everyone joined in giving him a well-merited hand".

Joe was given a Benefit Match on Wednesday 24th August 1955, when Saints A took on Wigan A at Knowsley Road. Joe kicked 4 goals from full-back, although the visitors won 20-21. Young Alex Murphy wore the number 7 jersey for the Saints that evening.


SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1942~43 0 0 0 1
1944~45 0 4 0 9
1945~46 0 39 0 24
1946~472 17 0 14
1947~48 0 0 0 1
1948~495 16 0 29
1949~50 2 13 0 16
1950~511 12 0 9
1953~54 2 1 0 9
1954~552 47 0 22
1955~56 0 3 0 1
TOTALS:14 152 0 135
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1950~510001
TOTALS:0001

ALL MATCHES

DateMatchPosOpponentsCompVenueFTFTOTGDG
17th Apr 1943 1
L
7 Featherstone Rovers WEL A 3 9 VIEW
14th Oct 1944 2
W
7 Featherstone Rovers WEL H 18 3 3 VIEW
21st Oct 1944 3
L
7 Barrow YC1(1) H 8 22 VIEW
28th Oct 1944 4
L
7 Barrow YC1(2) A 8 21 1 VIEW
11th Nov 1944 5
L
7 Leeds WEL H 3 23 VIEW
2nd Dec 1944 6
L
7 Featherstone Rovers WEL A 2 8 VIEW
16th Dec 1944 7
L
7 Huddersfield WEL A 8 20 VIEW
13th Jan 1945 8
L
7 Barrow WEL A 6 22 VIEW
3rd Feb 1945 9
L
7 Halifax WEL A 3 29 VIEW
10th Feb 1945 10
L
7 Castleford WEL H 2 16 VIEW
27th Oct 1945 11
L
1 Barrow L A 13 23 VIEW
10th Nov 1945 12
L
1 Broughton Rangers L H 8 10 VIEW
17th Nov 1945 13
L
1 Dewsbury L H 7 13 VIEW
8th Dec 1945 14
W
1 York L H 22 7 1 VIEW
15th Dec 1945 15
L
1 Warrington L A 7 38 VIEW
25th Dec 1945 16
W
1 Liverpool Stanley L A 26 3 VIEW
1st Jan 1946 17
W
1 Liverpool Stanley L H 16 8 VIEW
12th Jan 1946 18
L
1 Salford L H 6 13 3 VIEW
26th Jan 1946 19
L
1 Batley L A 0 15 VIEW
2nd Feb 1946 20
W
1 Swinton L H 7 5 2 VIEW
9th Feb 1946 21
L
1 Castleford CC1(1) A 4 10 2 VIEW
16th Feb 1946 22
W
1 Castleford CC1(2) H 14 5 1 VIEW
23rd Feb 1946 23
L
1 Warrington L H 10 17 2 VIEW
2nd Mar 1946 24
L
1 Workington Town CC2 H 6 13 VIEW
9th Mar 1946 25
W
1 Halifax L H 13 0 2 VIEW
23rd Mar 1946 26
L
1 Halifax L A 11 21 1 VIEW
30th Mar 1946 27
L
1 Barrow L H 22 30 5 VIEW
6th Apr 1946 28
L
1 York L A 14 33 4 VIEW
10th Apr 1946 29
L
1 Salford L A 5 6 1 VIEW
13th Apr 1946 30
L
1 Oldham L H 9 14 3 VIEW
19th Apr 1946 31
L
1 Wigan L A 9 15 3 VIEW
20th Apr 1946 32
L
1 Wakefield Trinity L A 10 32 2 VIEW
22nd Apr 1946 33
W
1 Batley L H 15 7 3 VIEW
27th Apr 1946 34
W
1 Hull Kingston Rovers L H 29 6 4 VIEW
14th Sep 1946 35
L
1 Leigh LC1(2) A 4 17 2 VIEW
5th Oct 1946 36
L
7 Warrington L A 10 19 1 2 VIEW
12th Oct 1946 37
W
7 Workington Town L H 12 7 1 3 VIEW
19th Oct 1946 38
W
7 Salford L A 11 2 1 VIEW
26th Oct 1946 39
W
7 Halifax L H 15 8 2 VIEW
2nd Nov 1946 40
W
7 Oldham L A 7 3 1 VIEW
9th Nov 1946 41
L
7 Swinton L H 11 15 1 VIEW
16th Nov 1946 42
D
7 Belle Vue Rangers L A 10 10 2 VIEW
30th Nov 1946 43
W
7 Huddersfield L H 18 10 1 VIEW
7th Dec 1946 44
L
7 Leigh L A 3 10 VIEW
14th Dec 1946 45
W
1 Salford L H 9 8 VIEW
25th Dec 1946 46
L
1 Liverpool Stanley L H 16 17 1 VIEW
4th Jan 1947 47
L
7 Leeds L A 5 20 1 VIEW
11th Jan 1947 48
L
7 Leeds L H 7 8 VIEW
30th Aug 1947 49
W
7 Leigh LC1(1) A 15 0 VIEW
8th Sep 1948 50
L
7 Wigan LC1(2) A 7 8 VIEW
11th Sep 1948 51
W
7 Liverpool Stanley L A 17 0 VIEW
23rd Sep 1948 52
W
7 Liverpool Stanley L H 41 0 VIEW
25th Sep 1948 53
W
7 Dewsbury L A 14 7 VIEW
2nd Oct 1948 54
W
7 Hunslet L H 41 11 VIEW
9th Oct 1948 55
L
7 Barrow L A 12 20 1 VIEW
14th Oct 1948 56
W
7 Australia Tour H 10 8 VIEW
16th Oct 1948 57
L
7 Warrington L H 4 12 VIEW
23rd Oct 1948 58
L
7 Keighley L A 10 12 2 VIEW
30th Oct 1948 59
W
7 Halifax L H 8 5 1 VIEW
6th Nov 1948 60
W
7 Salford L H 17 12 VIEW
13th Nov 1948 61
L
7 Rochdale Hornets L A 3 10 VIEW
20th Nov 1948 62
W
7 Dewsbury L H 27 7 2 VIEW
27th Nov 1948 63
W
7 Oldham L H 28 2 VIEW
4th Dec 1948 64
L
7 Warrington L A 5 15 1 VIEW
11th Dec 1948 65
W
7 Whitehaven L A 13 0 2 VIEW
18th Dec 1948 66
W
7 Whitehaven L H 61 0 1 8 VIEW
25th Dec 1948 67
D
7 Leigh L A 5 5 1 VIEW
1st Jan 1949 68
W
7 Leigh L H 12 0 1 VIEW
8th Jan 1949 69
W
7 Rochdale Hornets L H 3 0 VIEW
15th Jan 1949 70
W
7 Belle Vue Rangers L A 17 5 1 VIEW
22nd Jan 1949 71
W
7 Hunslet L A 11 5 VIEW
29th Jan 1949 72
W
7 Huddersfield L H 20 2 VIEW
5th Feb 1949 73
L
7 Widnes L A 2 6 VIEW
12th Feb 1949 74
W
7 Bradford Northern CC1(1) A 4 3 VIEW
19th Feb 1949 75
L
7 Bradford Northern CC1(2) H 0 5 VIEW
26th Feb 1949 76
L
7 Swinton L H 8 11 VIEW
16th Apr 1949 77
L
1 Huddersfield L A 0 34 VIEW
23rd Apr 1949 78
L
7 Swinton L A 3 16 VIEW
27th Aug 1949 79
L
7 Workington Town LC1(1) H 0 7 VIEW
31st Aug 1949 80
L
7 Workington Town LC1(2) A 4 7 VIEW
3rd Sep 1949 81
L
7 Dewsbury L A 12 18 VIEW
7th Sep 1949 82
L
7 Barrow L A 3 18 VIEW
22nd Oct 1949 83
W
7 Oldham L A 12 2 VIEW
2nd Jan 1950 84
W
7 Hull L H 30 0 VIEW
7th Jan 1950 85
W
7 Rochdale Hornets L A 23 2 4 VIEW
21st Jan 1950 86
L
7 Dewsbury L H 2 15 1 VIEW
18th Feb 1950 87
L
1 Swinton L A 8 11 1 VIEW
25th Mar 1950 88
L
7 Workington Town L A 0 5 VIEW
1st Apr 1950 89
W
7 Liverpool Stanley L H 27 2 4 VIEW
7th Apr 1950 90
L
7 Wigan L A 12 17 1 VIEW
8th Apr 1950 91
W
7 Barrow L H 16 0 1 2 VIEW
10th Apr 1950 92
W
7 Whitehaven L H 30 17 VIEW
15th Apr 1950 93
L
7 Leigh L H 5 12 1 VIEW
19th Apr 1950 94
W
7 Salford L H 38 3 VIEW
30th Aug 1950 --
W
7 Italy* Fr H 74 38 VIEW
26th Dec 1950 95
L
7 Wigan L H 5 39 1 VIEW
20th Jan 1951 96
W
1 Barrow L H 10 6 1 VIEW
24th Feb 1951 97
L
1 Hunslet L A 4 8 VIEW
3rd Mar 1951 98
W
1 Hull L H 39 13 VIEW
26th Mar 1951 99
L
1 Oldham L AB A 0 3 VIEW
4th Apr 1951 100
W
1 Leeds L H 22 14 5 VIEW
7th Apr 1951 101
L
1 Oldham L A 4 17 2 VIEW
12th Apr 1951 102
W
7 Widnes L A 5 2 1 VIEW
21st Apr 1951 103
W
1 York L H 31 3 3 VIEW
3rd Oct 1953 104
W
7 Bradford Northern L H 22 12 1 VIEW
31st Oct 1953 105
W
7 Workington Town L H 20 5 1 VIEW
7th Nov 1953 106
W
7 Oldham L A 5 3 1 VIEW
11th Nov 1953 107
W
7 Castleford L A 31 14 VIEW
12th Dec 1953 108
W
1 Oldham L H 21 9 VIEW
19th Dec 1953 109
W
7 Salford L A 11 7 VIEW
20th Mar 1954 110
W
7 Liverpool City L H 18 0 VIEW
17th Apr 1954 111
W
9 Widnes L H 28 4 VIEW
19th Apr 1954 112
L
7 Huddersfield L A 13 29 VIEW
2nd Oct 1954 113
W
7 Liverpool City L A 30 14 VIEW
9th Oct 1954 114
W
7 Leeds L H 13 6 VIEW
16th Oct 1954 115
W
7 Salford L A 19 2 1 VIEW
23rd Oct 1954 116
W
7 Whitehaven L H 30 3 VIEW
30th Oct 1954 117
W
7 Widnes L A 8 2 VIEW
6th Nov 1954 118
L
7 Workington Town L A 11 15 VIEW
13th Nov 1954 119
W
7 Barrow L H 11 4 4 VIEW
20th Nov 1954 120
W
7 Leeds L A 21 10 3 VIEW
27th Nov 1954 121
D
7 Warrington L H 8 8 4 VIEW
11th Dec 1954 122
W
7 Workington Town L H 16 2 1 2 VIEW
18th Dec 1954 123
W
7 Rochdale Hornets L A 20 9 4 VIEW
25th Dec 1954 124
L
7 Leigh L A 13 14 2 VIEW
27th Dec 1954 125
W
7 Wigan L H 19 7 5 VIEW
1st Jan 1955 126
W
7 Leigh L H 27 3 3 VIEW
8th Jan 1955 127
L
7 Warrington L A 14 18 4 VIEW
22nd Jan 1955 128
W
7 Wakefield Trinity L H 39 7 6 VIEW
5th Feb 1955 129
W
7 Whitehaven L A 8 0 1 VIEW
12th Feb 1955 130
W
7 Batley CC1 A 15 2 3 VIEW
19th Feb 1955 131
L
7 Oldham L A 2 9 1 VIEW
5th Mar 1955 132
W
7 Keighley CC2 A 3 2 VIEW
12th Mar 1955 133
L
7 Swinton L A 4 7 2 VIEW
28th Mar 1955 134
W
7 Liverpool City L H 12 4 3 VIEW
8th Oct 1955 135
W
1 Keighley L A 21 6 3 VIEW
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
WINS : 71 | LOSSES : 62 | DRAWS : 3

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