John Robert BallBMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39540.763287.BE (Published 10 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:839
- Kenneth Kyle
John Ball was born on 28 October 1934 in Port Talbot, South Wales. His higher education was at Port Talbot Grammar School. There he excelled at sport and had trials for the Welsh schools in both rugby football and cricket.
Medicine was his chosen career, and Welsh schoolboys who excelled at sport were very welcome at St Mary’s Medical School in London. There he was a successful medical student and represented his medical school at rugby and cricket. In those days St Mary’s played all the premier English rugby clubs. He was a member of the winning side in both rugby and cricket that won the prestigious London Hospitals’ Cup in 1958. In summer John enjoyed sailing with the yachting fraternity.
After qualifying as a doctor in 1958 his next ambition was to become a surgeon. He trained in the top London hospitals under the guidance of the doyens of the London surgical scene ( Mr Norman Tanner, Sir Arthur Porritt, and Mr Victor Riddell). In those days a young surgeon’s training very often meant long 12 hour days, when the trainee tried to be …