In a statement announced by the Black Cats on Thursday morning, chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said: ‘Kevin is a Sunderland AFC legend in the truest sense of the word and he will always be welcome at the Stadium of Light.
‘As a player, coach and ambassador, he has embodied the spirit of Sunderland and set an example to all of those around him, including players and staff. We thank him for his immense contribution and wish him well for the future.’
During his role at the Academy of Light as technical coach, Ball is credited for his part in the development of established England internationals Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford.
Meanwhile, in more recent years, the former Coventry apprentice acted as an International Development Executive and Club Ambassador.
His departure from the Wearsiders, after three decades of service, will no doubt sadden Sunderland fans who hold the 57-year-old in the highest esteem.
Following his £300,000 transfers from Pompey in 1990, he made in excess of 350 appearances for the club, which reaped two Division One titles, four player-of-the-year awards, two spells as caretaker boss and a testimonial against Sampdoria.
Despite his allegiances with the Black Cats, the former midfielder/defender still maintained an affection for the Blues.
In an interview with The News ahead of the 2019 Checkatrade Trophy final between Pompey and Sunderland, he credited the Fratton Park club as presenting him with a second chance in football and providing the foundations upon which a successful Sunderland career was constructed.
Released as an apprentice at Coventry, he was taken on by the Blues’ youth set-up in 1982.
By the time he departed in the summer of 1990, Ball had amassed 129 appearances and scored four times, even captaining on occasions.
Roker Park was his destination, a £300,000 bid accepted by Blues boss Frank Burrows, and so began a lifetime bond.