Neville Southall Explained

Neville Southall MBE (born 16 September 1958) is a Welsh former footballer, best known for his time with Everton. 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.

Southall joined Everton in 1981 and went on to make a club record 578 appearances in the Football League and helped the team to win a number of honours including the league championship and FA Cup on two occasions each and the European Cup Winners Cup. He also played internationally for Wales, winning a record 93 caps. Since his retirement as a player Southall has managed a number of non-league teams with little success and has coached the Welsh national youth teams.

Playing career

Southall entered the game relatively late, and before becoming a professional worked as a binman, waiter and hod carrier. Most famously he played for Everton where he made a club record 578 league appearances (over 750 in all competitions) and won two Football League championships, two FA Cups and a European Cup Winners Cup. He also played internationally for Wales, winning 92 caps: another record.

He had something of a love affair with Everton, enjoying early success in the 1980s, whilst he was perhaps the figurehead of Everton's gloom in the 1990s. Indeed, 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 during a surprise 3 - 2 home defeat to newly promoted Leeds United (it may be worth mentioning that Everton did pull back from three goals down but Everton were trailing by those three goals at half-time). 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. However he 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. Southall was also given a testimonial against Celtic in 1995 for his services to Everton.

He also has played for Llandudno Swifts, Conwy United, Bangor City, Winsford United, Bury, Bradford City, Stoke City, Rhyl, Southend United, York City, Shrewsbury Town, Huddersfield Town, Doncaster Rovers, and Torquay United. He was voted Footballer of The Year in 1985, extremely rare for a goalkeeper, and awarded the M.B.E in 1997.

After his football career, Neville Southall had coaching experience with the Welsh national squad, Dagenham & Redbridge, Canvey Island and Molesey before becoming manager of Dover Athletic during the close season of 2001. His managing stint at the Kent club was short and he was sacked before the end of the season.

Southall returned to management with Hastings United in 2004, 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".

In November 2005, Paul Merson remarkably revealed that he had approached Southall and ex-England goalkeeper David Seaman to play for Walsall in an FA Cup game at Merthyr Tydfil as their two first choice goalkeepers, Joe Murphy and Andy Oakes, were unavailable. However, Southall turned this offer down.

His stability on the pitch was in sharp contrast to a tumultuous private life. After a string of affairs, he walked out on his wife and family. In December 2007, Southall recovered the medals and trophies he had previously given to his teenage daughter, following successful legal action through the Liverpool courts. His daughter, a student, is now left with a legal bill of £6,000.[1]

Southall teaches academy football for 10 hours a week at Chaucer Technology School in Canterbury, Kent, and has also taught tennis and cross country running.

In 2008, he became part of the coaching team at Margate in the Ryman Premier League.


As a player

Notes and References

  1. Football ace Neville Southall sues daughter Samantha | Soccer star wants trophies back | The Sun |HomePage|News