Select Page

Former Fulham midfielder Kevin Ball has been appointed to replace sacked Sunderland Manager Mick McCarthy on a temporary basis.

Sunderland put Mick McCarthy out of his misery when they sacked him with the club hurtling back towards the Coca-Cola Championship. Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester City, in which the Black Cats were beaten almost before they started when Georgios Samaras fired the home side into a 2-0 lead within 10 minutes of kick-off, proved the final straw for chairman Bob Murray.

Chairman Murray decided to appoint a caretaker manager until the end of the season to allow him to appoint a permanent new boss in the summer.

Hastings born Kevin signed for Fulham in December 1999 for an undisclosed fee and followed Lee Clark and Andy Melville from the Stadium of Light, Sunderland down to SW6.

A tough tackling midfielder who could play in the heart of defence. He twice skippered the Mackems to the First Division title and is famous on Wearside for his all-out commitment and never-say-die attitude. On the arrival of Jean Tigana, in June 2000, it was quickly apparent that Kevin was not part of the new Manger’s plans and a free transfer to Burnley quickly followed.

Kevin returned to Sunderland in February 2003 in a coaching role and recently was working as the club’s Academy assistant manager

The former Sunderland captain will take charge for the first time this weekend against Wigan Athletic.

Sunderland chairman Bob Murray believes Ball is the right man to lead the club for the rest of the season.

“We have appointed Kevin Ball caretaker manager until the end of the season and hope supporters will give him their full backing,” Murray told the club’s official website.

“Kevin has always felt passionately about Sunderland and is a true professional.

“His grit, determination and leadership qualities have always been greatly appreciated by Sunderland fans and the club.

“Sunderland fans have been incredibly tolerant and supportive in the last few months, which have been very difficult, and I would also like to thank them for that.

“Now is the time to give Kevin Ball and the team support to try to get back to winning ways.”

The former Sunderland captain will take charge for the first time this weekend against Wigan Athletic.