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Neville Southall MBE (born 16 September 1958) is a former Walesmarker international 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 (750 in all competitions) 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.

Early life

A native of Llandudnomarker, he played youth football as centre back for his school team and the Llandudno Swifts, where he played alongside Joey Jones.

As a teenager, Southall had unsuccessful trials at Crewe Alexandramarker and Bolton. He then worked as a binman, waiter and hod carrier and therefore entered the game relatively late.

Playing career

Club career

In 1980 he joined Bury, Bury paying Winsford Unitedmarker £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. He spent January and February of 1983 on loan at Port Vale, back in the Fourth Division, he played nine games before being re-called to Goodison Parkmarker.

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 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. 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.

In December 1997 the ageing Southall went to Southend United of the Second Division 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. At the end of the season was released, before he signed with Torquay United of the Third Division in December 1998. In his 40s 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 Parademarker on 12 March 2000, at the age of 41, conceding two to Leeds United's Michael Bridges in a 2-1 defeat.

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

International career

His 92 Welsh caps are a national record, he conceded 126 goals, for an average of 1.34 per match. 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.

His first cap came against Northern Ireland at the Racecourse Groundmarker, Wrexhammarker 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.

Coaching and management career

After his playing days were over, in September 2000 Southall applied for the vacant management position at Fram Reykjavik in Icelandmarker. 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. His managing stint at the Kent club was short and he was sacked in March 2002, after only a few months in charge.

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."

A month after resigning from the national scene, Southall returned to management with Hastings United. 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 revealed that he had approached Southall and ex-England star 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. Both men declined the offer.

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

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. The case left his daughter, a student, with a legal bill of £6,000.

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

Legacy

In December 2004 he was voted as the Everton's all-time cult hero.

In August 2009 Nevile Southall released his autobiography - 60 minutes with Nevile Southall REF www.60mins.tv

Honours

with Everton


Individual


References



External links




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