Neville Southall (born September 16, 1958 in Llandudno, Wales) is a former professional footballer, playing the position of goalkeeper. Southall's career spanned much of the 1980s and 1990s.
Southall entered the game relatively late, and before becoming a professional worked as a binman, waiter and hod carrier. At his peak, Southall was regarded as the finest goalkeeper in the world and many have regarded him as the best. 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. He also played internationally for Wales, winning 92 caps: another record. Unfortunately for Southall, his career coincided with English clubs being banned from European competitions following the Heysel Stadium disaster, and the Welsh team never qualified for a major tournament during his career.
He had something of a love affair with Everton, enjoying early success in the 80s, whilst he was perhaps the figurehead of Everton's gloom in the 90s. 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 2-3 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 8 years. He retired in 2002 at the age of 43. He also played for Winsford United, Bury, Bradford City, Stoke City, Rhyl, Southend United, York City, Shrewsbury Town, Huddersfield Town, Doncaster Rovers, and Torquay United. His Nicknames were "Baggy Nev" and "Big Nev", along with the surprising, "Nevvypants", which he was often called by teammate Tony Cottee. He was voted Footballer of The Year in 1985, extremely rare for a goalkeeper, and awarded the M.B.E in 1997. However, the big man's reputation was shattered in the Potteries when he waddled out of his area in an important match against Tranmere Rovers, leaving an open goal for the Birkenhead team. After this Stoke fans were heard chanting 'Who ate all the pies?'; a sorry day for the Nevster.
After his football career, Neville Southall had coaching experience with the Welsh national squad, Dagenham and Redbridge, Dover Athletic, Canvey Island and Molesey before finally going into management at Hastings United in 2004.
He was sacked as Hastings' manager in 2005 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 perform 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, claiming he was too old to do himself justice.
In May 2006, "Big Nev" set out to Borneo to take part in the PFA Borneo Cup in aid of Children Today.
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