Neville Southall Explained

Playername:Neville Southall
Fullname:Neville Southall
Dateofbirth:16 September 1958
Cityofbirth:Llandudno
Countryofbirth:Wales
Height:1.85m (06.07feet)
Position:Goalkeeper
Youthclubs1:Llandudno Swifts
Youthclubs2:Conwy United
Youthclubs3:Bangor City
Youthyears4:1979–1980
Youthclubs4:Winsford United
Years1:1980–1981
Clubs1:Bury
Caps1:39
Goals1:0
Years2:1981–1998
Clubs2:Everton
Caps2:578
Goals2:0
Years3:1983
Clubs3:Port Vale (loan)
Caps3:9
Goals3:0
Years4:1997–1998
Clubs4:Southend United (loan)
Caps4:9
Goals4:0
Years5:1998
Clubs5:Stoke City (loan)
Caps5:3
Goals5:0
Years6:1998
Clubs6:Stoke City
Caps6:9
Goals6:0
Years7:1998–2000
Clubs7:Torquay United
Caps7:53
Goals7:0
Years8:1999
Clubs8:Huddersfield Town (loan)
Caps8:0
Goals8:0
Years9:2000
Clubs9:Bradford City
Caps9:1
Goals9:0
Years10:2001
Clubs10:York City
Caps10:0
Goals10:0
Years11:2001
Clubs11:Rhyl
Years12:2001
Clubs12:Shrewsbury Town
Caps12:0
Goals12:0
Years13:2001
Clubs13:Dover Athletic
Years14:2001–2002
Clubs14:Shrewsbury Town
Caps14:0
Goals14:0
Years15:2002
Clubs15:Dagenham & Redbridge
Caps15:0
Goals15:0
Totalcaps:701
Totalgoals:0
Nationalyears1:1982–1997
Nationalteam1:Wales[1]
Nationalcaps1:92
Nationalgoals1:0
Manageryears1:1999
Managerclubs1:Wales (caretaker manager)
Manageryears2:2001–2002
Managerclubs2:Dover Athletic
Manageryears3:2004–2005
Managerclubs3:Hastings United
Manageryears4:2009
Managerclubs4:Margate (Caretaker Manager)

Neville Southall MBE (born 16 September 1958) is a Welsh former international footballer. He has been described as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation and won the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 1985. He was awarded the MBE in 1995 for his services to football.

After joining Bury from Winsford United for £6,000 in 1980, he moved on to Everton for £150,000 the following year. He went on to make a club record 578 appearances in the Football League and Premier League (750 in all competitions); his honours with the club include a European Cup Winners' Cup medal in 1985, a First Division championship medal in 1984–85 and 1986–87, an FA Cup winners medal in 1984 and 1995, and an FA Charity Shield winners medal in 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1995. He also played in the 1985 and 1989 FA Cup finals, the League Cup final in 1984, and helped Everton to second place in the league in 1985–86. After leaving Everton in 1998, he became Torquay United's regular goalkeeper for two years. He also made a handful of appearances for numerous other clubs. He played internationally for Wales, winning a record 92 caps between 1982 and 1998; despite this he did not feature in any major international competitions. According to the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation, he played a total of 979 competitive matches for club and country.

As an individual, he was named on the PFA Team of the Year four consecutive times, and was listed as one of the world's top ten goalkeepers by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics on four occasions. He is a Hall of Famer of Gwladys Street's and English Football. He has been named as one the 100 'Greatest Players of the 20th Century' by World Soccer magazine.

Since his retirement as a player, Southall has briefly managed Dover Athletic and Hastings United, and has coached the Welsh national youth teams.

Early life

A native of Llandudno, he played youth football as centre back for his school team and the Llandudno Swifts, where he played alongside Joey Jones. He was educated at Ysgol John Bright.[2]

As a teenager, Southall had unsuccessful trials at Crewe Alexandra and Bolton Wanderers.[2] He then worked as a binman, waiter and hod carrier and therefore entered the game relatively late.[3] He played his football at Llandudno Swifts, Conwy United, Bangor City, and Winsford United.[2]

Playing career

Club career

In 1980 he joined Bury, Bury paying Winsford United £6,000. He played 39 Fourth Division games in the 1980–81 season, his performances attracting the attention of Howard Kendall. In 1981 he signed with First Division Everton for £150,000.[2] He spent January and February 1983 on loan at Port Vale, back in the Fourth Division, he played nine games before being re-called to Goodison Park.[4]

He became one of Everton's longest serving players and also one of its most iconic, enjoying early success in the 1980s.

In the 1983–84 season Southall and Everton made two appearances at Wembley in the Milk Cup final which was ultimately lost to Liverpool in a replay, and the FA Cup final, which brought home the first of piece of silverware during a the most successful era in Everton's history.

Southall's form in 1984–85 helped Everton win the league title, and the European Cup Winners' Cup but was only a Norman Whiteside goal from a possible treble, after the FA Cup final went to extra time before Everton lost 1–0 to Manchester United. Southall was named Football Writers Footballer of the Year in 1985, one of only four goalkeepers to win the award.

He missed a third successive FA Cup Final, in 1986, due to injury and his deputy Bobby Mimms took his place for the clash with Liverpool, which ended in a 3–1 defeat, and narrowly missed out on another championship. However a further championship winners medal was achieved in 1986–87.

In 1989, Southall was between the sticks in another all-Merseyside final. As had happened in 1986, the FA Cup final saw Everton losing to Liverpool, this time with a 3–2 scoreline after extra time. Halfway through the 1989–90 season, with Jim Leighton under fire for Manchester United's dismal league form, there was a rumour that Alex Ferguson would bring Southall to Old Trafford, but the transfer never happened and United signed Les Sealey from Luton Town instead.

During the opening match of the 1990–91 season, he famously sat down during a "sulking session" against a goalpost at half-time whilst his teammates were still in the changing rooms while three goals down to newly promoted Leeds United (a game eventually lost 3–2), a lasting image which epitomised the era. This was a turbulent time for Southall as he handed in several transfer requests throughout the season and did so further on in his Everton career.

By now Everton were a declining force, however Southall remained a constant fixture for the blues and his loyalty was rewarded in 1995 when he turned in a man of the match performance to thwart Manchester United in the FA Cup final and claim his first silverware for eight years, when Everton had been league champions.

Southall was also given a testimonial against Celtic in 1995 for his services to Everton.

In December 1997 the ageing Southall went to Southend United of Division Two on loan, he played nine games before moving on to Stoke City in February 1998. The move to Stoke was made permanent the following month, Everton allowing him to leave on a free transfer after 18 years. At the end of the season he was released, before he signed with Torquay United of the Third Division in December 1998. Now aged 40, he was still fit enough to play 61 competitive games before departing in February 2000. He made a remarkable return to the Premier League by signing with Bradford City. He appeared at Valley Parade on 12 March 2000, at the age of 41, conceding two to Leeds United's Michael Bridges (20 years his junior) in a 2–1 defeat. He remains one of the oldest players ever to have appeared in the Premier League.

Moving on from Bradford at the end of the 2000–01 season he later turned out for York City, Rhyl, Shrewsbury Town,[5] Dover Athletic and Dagenham & Redbridge. By 2002 his career as a player had finally come to an end at the grand old age of 44.

International career

His 92 Welsh caps are a national record, he conceded 126 goals, for an average of 1.34 per match.[6] The 1958 FIFA World Cup is the only time Wales qualified for a major tournament and the British Home Championship was played for the final time in 1984, therefore the majority of Southall's caps came in friendlies or qualifying games.

He was between the sticks for Wales in the fateful World Cup qualifier at Ninian Park on 10 September 1985, when their hopes of qualification ended when Scotland scored a late equaliser to force a 1–1 draw. However, the result of the game was put into perspective when Scotland manager Jock Stein suffered a heart attack at the end of the game and died shortly afterwards.

His first cap came against Northern Ireland at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham on 27 May 1982 in the 1982 British Home Championship, Wales won 3–0. Fifteen years later, a month away from his 39th birthday, he won his final cap, a World Cup qualifying game against Turkey on 20 August 1997, the Turks won 6–4, though Southall only played half the match.

Style of play

Southall was renown for his shot-stopping ability, particularly in dealing with one-on-one situations, quickly coming off his line to intimidate the onrushing forward and relying on his tremendous reflexes to save the ball.[7]

Coaching and management career

Still active he was appointed caretaker manager of Wales following the dismissal of Bobby Gould after a 4–0 defeat against Italy on 5 June 1999. In his only game in charge Wales lost 2–0 to Denmark on 9 June 1999. After his playing days were over, in September 2000 Southall applied for the vacant management position at Knattspyrnufélagið Fram in Iceland.[8] He later gained coaching experience with the Welsh national squad, Dagenham & Redbridge, Canvey Island and Molesey before becoming manager of Dover Athletic in December 2001.[9] His managing stint at the Kent club was short and he was sacked in March 2002, after only a few months in charge.[10]

He had a spell as Wales under-19 coach, but quit his post in November, claiming he was treated with "a total lack of respect" and that the coaching was compromised because "...as always, it's about money." FAW management committee chairman Ken Tucker made a stinging rebuke, saying: "Nev is making comments on things he knows little about. It is sad when people make comments without any knowledge of the finances of the FAW."[11]

A month after resigning from the national scene, Southall returned to management with Hastings United.[12] However just one year on he was sacked, with the Hastings chairman saying that "there have recently been an increasing number of issues on which Neville and I have disagreed and it had got to the point where our working relationship had broken down, beyond the point of repair, as far as I was concerned".[13]

In November 2005, Paul Merson and Walsall approached Southall, ex-England star David Seaman and Chris Woods to perform in an FA Cup game at Merthyr Tydfil as their two first choice goalkeepers, Joe Murphy and Andy Oakes, were unavailable. Southall decline the offer.[14]

In 2008, he became part of the coaching team at Margate in the Isthmian League Premier Division, However in 2009 he became the caretaker Manager after Terry Yorath resigned as manager after just one season in charge of the club.

Personal life

Southall teaches academy football for ten hours a week at Chaucer Technology School in Canterbury, Kent, and has also taught tennis and cross country running. He is due to release his autobiography in August 2012.[3] In March 2012 he set up a web site where people can e-mail him for 49 GBP or have an hour phone conversation for 99 GBP.[15]

Legacy

In December 2004 he was voted as the Everton's all-time cult hero.[16] He holds numerous of Everton's club records, including: most league appearances (578), most FA Cup appearances (70), most League Cup appearances (65), and most clean sheets (269). His 750 appearances in all competitions are 216 more than Brian Labone, the man with the second most appearances for the club. He is named on the Gwladys Street's Hall of Fame. Everton fans also voted him into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2008. In 1998 he was named as one of the Football League 100 Legends. His 92 caps for Wales are also a record. In 1999, World Soccer magazine named him joint 95th (with László Kubala) in the 'Greatest Players of the 20th Century'. In the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper rankings he was listed 5th in 1987, 7th in 1988, 9th in 1989, and 4th in 1991. He was voted FWA Footballer of the Year in 1985, making him the last goalkeeper to be given the award. He was voted BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 1995.

Honours

 
Individual

1985

1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90

1995

Notes and References

  1. Web site: Wales – Record International Players. Luis Fernando Passo. Alpuin. Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 20 February 2009. 10 March 2009.
  2. News: Neville Southall. 12 March 2012. BBC Wales.
  3. Web site: Neville Southall Biography. evertonfpf.org. 12 March 2012.
  4. Book: Kent, Jeff. Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. 276. 1996. 0952915200.
  5. News: Southall set for Shrews. 6 December 2001. BBC Sport. 28 June 2009.
  6. Web site: Neville Southall – International Appearances. rsssf.com. 28 June 2009.
  7. Web site: Southall, Neville, MBE. toffeeweb.com. 12 March 2012.
  8. News: Southall seeks Icelandic job. 11 September 2000. BBC Sport. 28 June 2009.
  9. News: Dover appoint Southall. 18 December 2001. BBC Sport. 28 June 2009.
  10. News: Dover appoint Walker. 3 March 2002. BBC Sport. 28 June 2009.
  11. News: Southall quits Wales youth role. 28 November 2004. BBC Sport. 28 June 2009.
  12. News: Southall takes up Hastings post. 16 December 2004. BBC Sport. 28 June 2009.
  13. News: Southall & Hastings part company. 1 December 2005. BBC Sport. 28 June 2009.
  14. News: Seaman bid falls flat. The Telegraph. 26 October 2011. London. John. Ley. 3 November 2005.
  15. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/22032012/58/premier-league-everton-legend-southall-selling-emails-49.html Eurosport
  16. News: Everton's cult heroes. 31 December 2004. Football Focus. 28 June 2009.