Nyron, Kevin and Alan

Salut! Sunderland is happy to congratulate Nyron Nosworthy on his “player of the season” award from fans voting on the official club website*.

Last season, I was among those who questioned the scale of our ambition when all the way from Gillingham, NN was introduced as one of Mick McCarthy’s signings for the ill-fated return to the Premiership.

He was occasionally useful going forward but always seemed awkward on the ball and crossed appallingly. The transformation has been astounding. Whenever I have seen him this season, he has been rock solid.

On the flank, he embarked on runs that threatened to inflict – and often inflicted – real damage on the opposition. And in the centre, he has been an utterly key figure in our unbeaten run.

He has quite rightly established himself as a great crowd pleaser. And his attitude and commitment, plus an ability to overcome question marks on skill with sheer graft and courage, remind me of another: Kevin Ball.

Speaking of Ball, I should pass on one embarrassing – for me – anecdote on the occasion of the sad passing of his part-namesake Alan, a fine servant of the game at all levels.

It was the 25th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup win, and I was there at a press photoshoot in London to meet the squad.

All of those I managed to speak to made some impression on me. But Ball I will never forget.

With spectacular ignorance, I asked him when he was going to curb the excesses of his hard-as-nails son and stop him being booked or sent off.

Which son, came the inevitable reply. I had been misled – by a programme reference or terrace talk, or at least that’s my excuse – into think Kevin was Alan’s lad.

Before I needed to find a suitable corner to creep into, Alan Ball came up with some sort of light-hearted reassurance, his way of saying “never mind, you plonker” to ease my shame. Thanks, Alan and RIP.

* And congrats too to the runners-up Dean Whitehead and Carlos Edwards, and youn player of the season Jonny Evans.

Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

From Rotherham to Wycombe Wanderers via Shrewsbury Town, Southend United and Tranmere Rovers: our third financial ramble

McCormick's Craic(featured image) full size 640 x 138

Here are the last five of the clubs in League One apart from Blackpool, Bolton, Bury and Sunderland, who will […]

From MK Dons to Rochdale via Oxford, Peterborough and Portsmouth: it’s a short financial ramble

McCormick's Craic(featured image) full size 640 x 138

It was on 18th June that I put up the first in this series, covering the League One clubs beginning […]

Rotherham: where better to celebrate Sunderland’s promotion?

Click the image to visit our home page. Make reading Salut! Sunderland habit

This time last year, we were wondering whether a May weekend in Southend would be our promotion party. We know […]

Lasses cannot play football. Will the Women’s World Cup finally bury this falsehood?

Beth Mead, the Kevin Phillips of Sunderland women's football*

Who, like me, looked on in admiration at Janine Beckie’s corners for Canada against New Zealand and thought, “let’s hope […]

Rambling through Accrington, Coventry and Ipswich to Lincoln. How do Sunderland’s rivals shape up financially?

McCormick's Craic(featured image) full size 640 x 138

League One comprises 24 clubs. Three of them, Bury, Bolton and Blackpool, are entering, exiting or plodging in the clarts […]

Page generated in 1.247 seconds. Stats plugin by www.blog.ca