Joe Ball

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROMDEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
30-04-1927
N/A
06-09-1943
Rivington Road School
17-04-1943 v Featherstone Rovers
08 - 10 - 1955 v Keighley
1955- Barrow
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
1942-1955
135 (0)
14
152
0
346

BIOGRAPHY

Joe Ball by Denis Whittle

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 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 shore 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”.

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

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
17th Apr 1943 L 7 Featherstone Rovers WEL 1942~43 A 3 9 V
14th Oct 1944 W 7 Featherstone Rovers WEL 1944~45 H 18 3 3 V
21st Oct 1944 L 7 Barrow YC1(1) 1944~45 H 8 22 V
28th Oct 1944 L 7 Barrow YC1(2) 1944~45 A 8 21 1 V
11th Nov 1944 L 7 Leeds WEL 1944~45 H 3 23 V
2nd Dec 1944 L 7 Featherstone Rovers WEL 1944~45 A 2 8 V
16th Dec 1944 L 7 Huddersfield WEL 1944~45 A 8 20 V
13th Jan 1945 L 7 Barrow WEL 1944~45 A 6 22 V
3rd Feb 1945 L 7 Halifax WEL 1944~45 A 3 29 V
10th Feb 1945 L 7 Castleford WEL 1944~45 H 2 16 V
27th Oct 1945 L 1 Barrow L 1945~46 A 13 23 V
10th Nov 1945 L 1 Broughton Rangers L 1945~46 H 8 10 V
17th Nov 1945 L 1 Dewsbury L 1945~46 H 7 13 V
8th Dec 1945 W 1 York L 1945~46 H 22 7 1 V
15th Dec 1945 L 1 Warrington L 1945~46 A 7 38 V
25th Dec 1945 W 1 Liverpool Stanley L 1945~46 A 26 3 V
1st Jan 1946 W 1 Liverpool Stanley L 1945~46 H 16 8 V
12th Jan 1946 L 1 Salford L 1945~46 H 6 13 3 V
26th Jan 1946 L 1 Batley L 1945~46 A 0 15 V
2nd Feb 1946 W 1 Swinton L 1945~46 H 7 5 2 V
9th Feb 1946 L 1 Castleford CC1(1) 1945~46 A 4 10 2 V
16th Feb 1946 W 1 Castleford CC1(2) 1945~46 H 14 5 1 V
23rd Feb 1946 L 1 Warrington L 1945~46 H 10 17 2 V
2nd Mar 1946 L 1 Workington Town CC2 1945~46 H 6 13 V
9th Mar 1946 W 1 Halifax L 1945~46 H 13 0 2 V
23rd Mar 1946 L 1 Halifax L 1945~46 A 11 21 1 V
30th Mar 1946 L 1 Barrow L 1945~46 H 22 30 5 V
6th Apr 1946 L 1 York L 1945~46 A 14 33 4 V
10th Apr 1946 L 1 Salford L 1945~46 A 5 6 1 V
13th Apr 1946 L 1 Oldham L 1945~46 H 9 14 3 V
19th Apr 1946 L 1 Wigan L 1945~46 A 9 15 3 V
20th Apr 1946 L 1 Wakefield Trinity L 1945~46 A 10 32 2 V
22nd Apr 1946 W 1 Batley L 1945~46 H 15 7 3 V
27th Apr 1946 W 1 Hull K.R. L 1945~46 H 29 6 4 V
14th Sep 1946 L 1 Leigh LC1(2) 1946~47 A 4 17 2 V
5th Oct 1946 L 7 Warrington L 1946~47 A 10 19 1 2 V
12th Oct 1946 W 7 Workington Town L 1946~47 H 12 7 1 3 V
19th Oct 1946 W 7 Salford L 1946~47 A 11 2 1 V
26th Oct 1946 W 7 Halifax L 1946~47 H 15 8 2 V
2nd Nov 1946 W 7 Oldham L 1946~47 A 7 3 1 V
9th Nov 1946 L 7 Swinton L 1946~47 H 11 15 1 V
16th Nov 1946 D 7 Belle Vue Rangers L 1946~47 A 10 10 2 V
30th Nov 1946 W 7 Huddersfield L 1946~47 H 18 10 1 V
7th Dec 1946 L 7 Leigh L 1946~47 A 3 10 V
14th Dec 1946 W 1 Salford L 1946~47 H 9 8 V
25th Dec 1946 L 1 Liverpool Stanley L 1946~47 H 16 17 1 V
4th Jan 1947 L 7 Leeds L 1946~47 A 5 20 1 V
11th Jan 1947 L 7 Leeds L 1946~47 H 7 8 V
30th Aug 1947 W 7 Leigh LC1(1) 1947~48 A 15 0 V
8th Sep 1948 L 7 Wigan LC1(2) 1948~49 A 7 8 V
11th Sep 1948 W 7 Liverpool Stanley L 1948~49 A 17 0 V
23rd Sep 1948 W 7 Liverpool Stanley L 1948~49 H 41 0 V
25th Sep 1948 W 7 Dewsbury L 1948~49 A 14 7 V
2nd Oct 1948 W 7 Hunslet L 1948~49 H 41 11 V
9th Oct 1948 L 7 Barrow L 1948~49 A 12 20 1 V
14th Oct 1948 W 7 Australia Tour 1948~49 H 10 8 V
16th Oct 1948 L 7 Warrington L 1948~49 H 4 12 V
23rd Oct 1948 L 7 Keighley L 1948~49 A 10 12 2 V
30th Oct 1948 W 7 Halifax L 1948~49 H 8 5 1 V
6th Nov 1948 W 7 Salford L 1948~49 H 17 12 V
13th Nov 1948 L 7 Rochdale Hornets L 1948~49 A 3 10 V
20th Nov 1948 W 7 Dewsbury L 1948~49 H 27 7 2 V
27th Nov 1948 W 7 Oldham L 1948~49 H 28 2 V
4th Dec 1948 L 7 Warrington L 1948~49 A 5 15 1 V
11th Dec 1948 W 7 Whitehaven L 1948~49 A 13 0 2 V
18th Dec 1948 W 7 Whitehaven L 1948~49 H 61 0 1 8 V
25th Dec 1948 D 7 Leigh L 1948~49 A 5 5 1 V
1st Jan 1949 W 7 Leigh L 1948~49 H 12 0 1 V
8th Jan 1949 W 7 Rochdale Hornets L 1948~49 H 3 0 V
15th Jan 1949 W 7 Belle Vue Rangers L 1948~49 A 17 5 1 V
22nd Jan 1949 W 7 Hunslet L 1948~49 A 11 5 V
29th Jan 1949 W 7 Huddersfield L 1948~49 H 20 2 V
5th Feb 1949 L 7 Widnes L 1948~49 A 2 6 V
12th Feb 1949 W 7 Bradford Northern CC1(1) 1948~49 A 4 3 V
19th Feb 1949 L 7 Bradford Northern CC1(2) 1948~49 H 0 5 V
26th Feb 1949 L 7 Swinton L 1948~49 H 8 11 V
16th Apr 1949 L 1 Huddersfield L 1948~49 A 0 34 V
23rd Apr 1949 L 7 Swinton L 1948~49 A 3 16 V
27th Aug 1949 L 7 Workington Town LC1(1) 1949~50 H 0 7 V
31st Aug 1949 L 7 Workington Town LC1(2) 1949~50 A 4 7 V
3rd Sep 1949 L 7 Dewsbury L 1949~50 A 12 18 V
7th Sep 1949 L 7 Barrow L 1949~50 A 3 18 V
22nd Oct 1949 W 7 Oldham L 1949~50 A 12 2 V
2nd Jan 1950 W 7 Hull L 1949~50 H 30 0 V
7th Jan 1950 W 7 Rochdale Hornets L 1949~50 A 23 2 4 V
21st Jan 1950 L 7 Dewsbury L 1949~50 H 2 15 1 V
18th Feb 1950 L 1 Swinton L 1949~50 A 8 11 1 V
25th Mar 1950 L 7 Workington Town L 1949~50 A 0 5 V
1st Apr 1950 W 7 Liverpool Stanley L 1949~50 H 27 2 4 V
7th Apr 1950 L 7 Wigan L 1949~50 A 12 17 1 V
8th Apr 1950 W 7 Barrow L 1949~50 H 16 0 1 2 V
10th Apr 1950 W 7 Whitehaven L 1949~50 H 30 17 V
15th Apr 1950 L 7 Leigh L 1949~50 H 5 12 1 V
19th Apr 1950 W 7 Salford L 1949~50 H 38 3 V
30th Aug 1950 W 7 Italy* Fr 1950~51 H 74 38 V
26th Dec 1950 L 7 Wigan L 1950~51 H 5 39 1 V
20th Jan 1951 W 1 Barrow L 1950~51 H 10 6 1 V
24th Feb 1951 L 1 Hunslet L 1950~51 A 4 8 V
3rd Mar 1951 W 1 Hull L 1950~51 H 39 13 V
26th Mar 1951 L 1 Oldham L AB 1950~51 A 0 3 V
4th Apr 1951 W 1 Leeds L 1950~51 H 22 14 5 V
7th Apr 1951 L 1 Oldham L 1950~51 A 4 17 2 V
12th Apr 1951 W 7 Widnes L 1950~51 A 5 2 1 V
21st Apr 1951 W 1 York L 1950~51 H 31 3 3 V
3rd Oct 1953 W 7 Bradford Northern L 1953~54 H 22 12 1 V
31st Oct 1953 W 7 Workington Town L 1953~54 H 20 5 1 V
7th Nov 1953 W 7 Oldham L 1953~54 A 5 3 1 V
11th Nov 1953 W 7 Castleford L 1953~54 A 31 14 V
12th Dec 1953 W 1 Oldham L 1953~54 H 21 9 V
19th Dec 1953 W 7 Salford L 1953~54 A 11 7 V
20th Mar 1954 W 7 Liverpool City L 1953~54 H 18 0 V
17th Apr 1954 W 9 Widnes L 1953~54 H 28 4 V
19th Apr 1954 L 7 Huddersfield L 1953~54 A 13 29 V
2nd Oct 1954 W 7 Liverpool City L 1954~55 A 30 14 V
9th Oct 1954 W 7 Leeds L 1954~55 H 13 6 V
16th Oct 1954 W 7 Salford L 1954~55 A 19 2 1 V
23rd Oct 1954 W 7 Whitehaven L 1954~55 H 30 3 V
30th Oct 1954 W 7 Widnes L 1954~55 A 8 2 V
6th Nov 1954 L 7 Workington Town L 1954~55 A 11 15 V
13th Nov 1954 W 7 Barrow L 1954~55 H 11 4 4 V
20th Nov 1954 W 7 Leeds L 1954~55 A 21 10 3 V
27th Nov 1954 D 7 Warrington L 1954~55 H 8 8 4 V
11th Dec 1954 W 7 Workington Town L 1954~55 H 16 2 1 2 V
18th Dec 1954 W 7 Rochdale Hornets L 1954~55 A 20 9 4 V
25th Dec 1954 L 7 Leigh L 1954~55 A 13 14 2 V
27th Dec 1954 W 7 Wigan L 1954~55 H 19 7 5 V
1st Jan 1955 W 7 Leigh L 1954~55 H 27 3 3 V
8th Jan 1955 L 7 Warrington L 1954~55 A 14 18 4 V
22nd Jan 1955 W 7 Wakefield Trinity L 1954~55 H 39 7 6 V
5th Feb 1955 W 7 Whitehaven L 1954~55 A 8 0 1 V
12th Feb 1955 W 7 Batley CC1 1954~55 A 15 2 3 V
19th Feb 1955 L 7 Oldham L 1954~55 A 2 9 1 V
5th Mar 1955 W 7 Keighley CC2 1954~55 A 3 2 V
12th Mar 1955 L 7 Swinton L 1954~55 A 4 7 2 V
28th Mar 1955 W 7 Liverpool City L 1954~55 H 12 4 3 V
8th Oct 1955 W 1 Keighley L 1955~56 A 21 6 3 V
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
CALCULATED APPEARANCES : OFFICIAL 134 OTHER 1 = 135
ACTUAL APPEARANCES (inc 0 Subs) = 135

GALLERY


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