Neville Southall MBE 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 joined Bury from Winsford United for a £6,000 fee in 1980, and turned professional in his early 20s after a number of years as a semi-professional and amateur player. During his teenage years he worked as a binman, waiter and hod carrier. He moved on to Everton for £150,000 in 1981 and established himself as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper by the 1983–84 season. 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 consist of 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, and 1995. He also played in the 1985 and 1989 FA Cup finals, the League Cup final in 1984, and helped Everton to a 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, though he did not feature in any major international competitions. 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 member of the Gwladys Street’s Hall of Fame. He has been named as one of the 100 ‘Greatest Players of the 20th Century’ by World Soccer magazine. In the 1996 Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to football.
Since his retirement as a player, Southall has briefly managed Dover Athletic, Hastings United and Margate, and has coached at numerous clubs as well as the Welsh national youth teams. He has also worked extensively with disadvantaged children, and set up his own educational consultancy.
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