The Corner

Alan Ball, R.I.P.

Hey Jonah:  Soccerophobe that I am, I lived three years in Liverpool, and you don’t get out of THAT town without attending a few games.  Friends drag you along, girls you want to go out with insist, and so on.  I watched Alan Ball play once, when he was with Everton, and even my negligible soccer sensibilities were stirred.    The thing I particularly remember is Alan bending down and doing a quick pretense at tying his bootlace (which of course did not need tying) while in possession of the ball and being aggressively tackled by an opposing player.   Just to show how easy it was.   True mastery makes itself plain even to an ignoramus.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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