'He was a great dad': Son's touching tribute to Footrot Flats creator Murray Ball

The son of Murray Ball has shared an insight into what life was like growing up, and where his dad got the inspiration for the Footrot Flats series.

Gareth Ball spoke to RadioLIVE's Rural Exchange ahead of an event to celebrate the iconic Kiwi cartoonist, who died in March 2017.

Organisers say the 'Rural Day' on Friday in Feilding, where Mr Ball was born, is an amazing opportunity to show love for the New Zealand artist.

It will include a Footrot Flats lookalike contest, singalongs of the movie theme song 'Slice of Heaven' and a gumboot relay.

Murray's wife Pam Ball, their sons and grandchildren and will also join the celebrations.

Son Gareth Ball says the family is "really excited about the event".

He shared with Rural Exhange memories of what he described as an "amazing upbringing".

"We spent our early lives on four acres of land, just outside of Gisborne, and he wasn't much of a farmer really - he was a great father" he said.

Cartoonist Murray Ball is to be celebrated at a special event in Fielding.
Cartoonist Murray Ball is to be celebrated at a special event in Fielding. Photo credit: Supplied

"We'd follow him out in the school holidays, planting trees up the hill, and chasing our small flock of sheep around," Mr Ball said.

"[Dad] made life interesting for us. At the end of the day we would sit down and he'd show us the cartoons he'd drawn for the day and we'd have a laugh over dinner - it was pretty special," he said.

Rural Day will be held in Feilding's Manchester Square on Friday, October 12.

Watch the full interview with Gareth Ball above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter's Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.

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