At the Eighth International Conference in Tribology held in Pretoria in March 2004, organised by the South African Institute of Tribology, two sessions were dedicated to the memory of Professor Tony Ball who held the chair of Materials Engineering at the University of Cape Town from 1972 until his untimely death in 2001. Tony was a generous host and several members of the international tribological community were lucky enough to enjoy his hospitality in that beautiful Southern hemisphere city. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of young people in the field and played an important role in setting up the international tribo-corrosion network. A full obituary of Professor Ball appeared in Tribology International by his colleague Dr Kundsen (Volume 34 (2001) 647-8). Suffice it to say that the contributions to the meeting in Pretoria mirrored Tony's many interests in surface engineering and tribo-corrosion. We include in this tribute issue written versions of several of the presentations that were made by some of his former colleagues and co-workers in Cape Town at the meeting, together with a number of papers authored by former colleagues.