Monday, 22 October 2012

Visions of family sporting glory... shortlived

Well.. my hope that Swansea football star, Billy Ball, was one of my elusive Ball cousins has been dashed... Based on inquiries that I made to the Local Studies Department of the Swansea Central Library and the 100 Years of Swansea City FC Project at Swansea University I can safely presume that Billy Ball, was not one of my William Ball cousins, born 1892 and 1893 in Glamorgan.

Philip Bethell, Project Officer from the Department of History and Classics from Swansea University indicated that Billy Ball, of Swansea FC fame, had been transferred to Swansea Town in 1912 from Stoke, and had played for Swansea until 1920. Ball remained in Swansea until his death in November 1960, at the age of 72 (estimated birth year late 1887 or 1888). My William Spickett Ball died in 1982 and William Henry died sometime before July 1947.

Local Studies Librarian, Gwilym Games, Swansea Central Library, confirmed the above information, and noted that the Swansea Club recruited established players from all over the UK to ensure that the club got off to a good start. It is possible that Billy was the same Billy Ball from West Derby, who played for Manchester United in 1904-1906, and was born in 1886.

Many thanks to Gwilym and Philip for all of their help! One mystery laid to rest, but always another one around the corner...

Cheers, K.

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