Injuries plagued Steve Ball whose career showed so much promise
when he won an FA Youth Cup winners medal with Arsenal. An ankle
ligament injury led to his release from which he joined his hometown
side of Colchester after a brief trial at Ipswich.
Four appearances for them was followed by a move to Norwich City
in August 1990. In the two years he spent at Carrow Road, he made
just four first team appearances both as substitute. However he
accumulated 64 reserve team appearances as an attacking midfielder
scoring eleven times.
A return to Colchester United generated another 64 league appearances
and seven goals as the Us struggled in the depths of Division
Three. Injuries limited him to a monthly contract and in March
1996 he joined amateur side Sudbury Town. He played with them
from 1995 to 1998 making 77 appearances and scoring 14 times.
After a spell with Heybridge Swifts, Steve took over as manager
of Ridgeons Football
League side Stanway
Rovers. Steve combined this role with work for a Colchester
stationery firm (Canaries Flying Everywhere by Mike Davage
in the Norwich City 2000/01 Official Club Handbook)
Ball surprised everyone at Stanway when he quit as manager on
October 25th 2003. Kevin Reakes took over as caretaker. Steve
joined Long Melford as a player, making his debut in the Ridgeons
Leage First Division against Cambridge City Reserves on 8th November
2003. However he was not fit enough to play regularly and suggestions
of taking on a coaching role were not received warmly by the current
Long Melford management team fearful of their jobs. In this environment,
Ball opted to cut his losses and left in mid December 2003.
On 25th March 2004, Steve joined Clacton as their Assistant Manager
but their financial problems in the spring/summer of 2005 saw
Ball quit in frustration. Ball said: "I've exhausted every
avenue of hope, with regards to the ongoing financial problems
being solved, but I can't take any more. As far as I'm concerned,
I've left the club. Contractually, of course, they may decide
to hold my registration but I'm confident they'll terminate it."
Ball admitted the saga had left such a `nasty taste' he was considering
turning his back on football.
In mid-May 2006, Steve returned to Clacton as manager. By the
14th June, he had to resign as his job was restructured away from
being based in Colchester to cover Birmingham and the Midlands.
At the end of October 2006, Steve was linked with the Diss Town
managerial vacancy created by the sacking of Robert
He later returned to Stanway Rovers as Assistant Manager. He
then spent 2010-12 as Assistant Manager to Mark Morsley at Leiston
In May 2012, he joined Colchester's Academy as a coach.
Ball returned to Leiston on 22nd October 2013 as first team coach
to new manager Steve Pitt who replaced Danny
Laws. Pitt left after six weeks. Leiston chairman Andy Crisp
said: Its very unfortunate we have had to make
this decision. Its for footballing reasons and nothing to
do with results. Steve is a good man but it would have been wrong
for me as chairman to just give it another couple of weeks to
see if things improved." Ball was appointed as caretaker
manager and then appointed permanently to the position on 4th
December 2013, recruiting Rob Bate as his
assistant and Adam Tann as first team coach.
Ball signed a two and a half year contract with Leiston.
Ball returned to Colchester working in their Academy. He was appointed manager of fellow Ryman leaguers Maldon and Tiptree United on 29th December 2015, replacing David Wright who became Assistant Manager at Colchester. Ball will combine managing the Jammers with working at Colchester's Academy.
He was appointed Assistant Manager to incoming Colchester boss John McGreal on 4th May 2016 thus prompting his resignation from Maldon. He managed the Colchester side for their final game of the 2015/16 season, a 2-1 defeat to Rochdale.
On 28th July 2020 he was appoitned as manager of Colchester after the club parted company with McGreal earlier that month.
Ball was sacked on 23rd February 2021 following a run of 13 games without a win that left them 21st in the League Two table, nine points above the relegation zone."It was decided the best way forward was for him to leave his position," said Colchester owner Robbie Cowling."Steve has been with the club in different capacities for a long time and I would like it placed on record our thanks to him for his hard work and dedication."