Neville Southall Biography

Mon 15 March 2021 | 16:30

In this article we are going to explore the professional career and personal life of an excellent goalkeeper, thus get ready to dive into Neville Southalls Biography.

There have been many welsh football players who managed to rise through the ranks of football and become national hero’s and idols for many youngsters. In this article, we are going to talk about one of these hero’s, who has dedicated 3 decades of his life to football and has played for many teams, mainly for Everton.

Known for his Most Excellent Order of the British Empire medal, Neville Southall has been considered the best goalkeeper of his era. By a total of 92 appearances for his national team, he served his country as a goalkeeper for 15 years. After putting football aside as a player, Neville continued his service by coaching the

youth team of Wales


He was the angel that every disabled kid would have needed in that era. He has helped many disadvantaged children, who wanted to be footballers. Neville also has organized his educational consultancy to support these kinds of children.

Before we get started with

Neville Southall biography

we would like to offer you two of our articles,

Ryan Giggs biography


facts about Gary Speed

 about welsh players who were super talents and have made wonders in football history.

A detailed article about Neville Southall biography

First things first, we are going to read some general information about Neville Southall to get a general idea of who he is, and after that we will get to his personal life and football career as well as his managerial career.

Neville Southall information

Let us take a look at his statistics and information

Personal information

  • Full name

    : Neville Southall

  • Date of birth

    : September 16, 1958

  • Place of birth

    : Llandudno, Wales

  • Age

    : 62

  • Star sign

    : Virgo

  • Religion

    : Christianity

Football information

  • Last team

    : Dagenham & Redbridge

  • Position

    : Goalkeeper

Physical Stats:

  • Height

    : 1.85 m (6′ 1″)

  • Weight

    : N/A

Now that you have gathered some basic information about the hero of our story let’s get to Neville Southall's early life and starting point.

Neville Southall early life

Neville Southall date of birth

is 16 September 1958. He was born to Fred and Rose Southall. He started his football career with his school team and the youth academy of the Llandudno Swifts. 

Neville Southall life story

 started in Llandudno, Wales .

His team toured to Germany when Neville was 14 years old and he was offered the chance to stay there and play for Fortuna Dusseldorf but he decided to refuse the offer and come back to his hometown.

He left school at the age of 16 in the hopes of building a better future by playing football. Llandudno Swifts was a weak team and the opposing team’s strikers could easily go through the defense and get to Neville who was the goalkeeper. This actually helped Neville improve his goalkeeping skills as he was getting barraged by enemy shots.

Neville Southall childhood

was harsh. He wasn’t making any profit out of football, thus he had to work and train at the same time. He has worked as a binman, waiter and hod-carrier. He started to earn income (talking about 10 pounds a week) when he joined Bangor City which was part of the Northern Premier League.

He had to spend most of his time on the bench since he wasn’t the first-choice goalkeeper. After Bangor City's financial crisis, Neville left the club and joined Conwy United for 3 pounds a week.

Things got relatively better when he was offered to join Winsford United at the age of 20. He earned his first trophies as a team when his team won the Cheshire Senior Cup and then he won his first individual award as he got elected as the best player of the year.

Neville Southall profile

Let us discuss minor aspects of Neville's professional football career as we provide you some information about his playstyle and reception in this part of 

Neville Southall biography.

The first team that offered Neville to play in the senior league was Bury. You can consider Bury as his starting point since the teams that he had played before weren’t as famous as the shakers.

He earned various awards and showed off his skills in the field which led to receiving a contract from Everton. Everton was Neville’s home as he was there for 17 years. His style of play was the factor that made Neville the fans' favorite.

The welsh goalkeeper ended up spending his last 2 career years jumping from a club to another and finally changing his career to a managerial one.

Style of play

Playing for Llandudno Swift was a huge boost for his shot-stopping skills and this is the skill that distinguishes him from any other ordinary goalkeeper.

He was an unpassable obstacle when it came to one on one situations, no ball could escape his fierce grasp. He was also known for his ambition to improve his skills. He would spend time studying other sports to get useful information on how to improve his balance and spring. His famous quote on this matter is” If I changed 100 things and got 1% better because of one of them, then it was worth it”


Neville Southall has played for Everton for 17 years which is a long time for a player to stay in a club. He was the heart of the team. A talented goalkeeper who helps Everton together. The main guy that was the core of Everton’s defensive stance. Everton stood on the top of the league for 2 seasons while Neville was defending the goal. These were the reasons by which he became famous.

Neville Southall outside football


Neville Southall religion

, he is a christian.

He has done a lot for football which are present in 

Neville Southall bio

 but lets us take a look at his life outside of the green square pitch.

An interesting fact that you might not know is that he is a teetotaller which basically means that he refuses to drink alcoholic drinks and promotes this kind of behavior.

This movement started in 1833 by Joseph Livesey who was an English temperance campaigner. His autobiography (The Binman Chronicles – referencing his job when he was a kid) was released in August 2012, and the book was on the 6th place of the best-selling list for 2012.

Furthermore, he has worked as a teaching assistant for the kids who are not able to receive education or attend school. He had experience working in such a role in London even before getting this position. He is also a member of UNISON.

Neville Southall supports the LGBT community and their rights and sets up charity events for the community often. He has also organized charity events for sex workers and suicide bereavement.

Neville Southall has been active in politics and has been supportive of Jeremy Corbyn. He was believed that despite the fact that people didn’t like Jeremy Corbyn, his actions and plans were impressive and that he seemed more like a normal citizen than a politician.

“Jeremy Corbyn's done all right. Whether you like him or hate him, he sticks to what he says. When he got made leader, people took the piss because he didn't wear a suit. Well, he's not Clark Kent. I thought: 'If he doesn’t look like a politician, great. I don't want a politician” he said to the interviewers.

Neville Southall personal life

In this section of 

Neville Southall biography

, we are going to take a deep look into his family and relationships. He didn’t have an easy childhood as he was forced to work and play football.

As mentioned before he was not making more than 10 pounds from football. But as he progressed he managed to sign contracts that made him rich enough to manage his family and support them financially.

Family, children and relationships

Neville Southall has a complicated relationship status. He has been considered single since he left his wife in 1998. Neville Southall and Eryl Williams were engaged in June 1980. Samantha Southall, Neville’s daughter, was born in 1987. In 1998, Neville Southall left his family for another woman, Emma, who was an aromatherapist. Neville is currently supporting 3 children including his daughter Samantha and 2 other orphan kids.


Neville Southall has recently offered to his social media followers one of Teesside’s most popular charities. He has always used his power to help people and in this case, he has offered to hand over his social media account in order to make the world a better place. He even authorized people to use his social media as a place of discussion about various problems.

He has been a huge help to the EVS team and their works. He also tweeted “I'm delighted to be supporting the Bloodrun team especially after the year they've had in helping the people working so hard in our NHS.” The EVS team has broadcasted all the action that their volunteers have done through Neville’s social account.

Legal issues

As to talk about this matter, no criminal record has been found regarding Neville Southall.

Neville Southall has lived a lawful life and has helped many teenagers who had a troubled youth and got involved with issues regarding the law.

Neville Southall career statistics

It can not be considered as a complete Neville Southall biography if we dont talk about his career. Neville has shone in the field like a diamond among the iron. But what has he gone through before reaching his top potential and what clubs had played an effective role in Neville’s development as a player before he decided to become a manager for his national team?

In this part, we are going to take a long trip to Neville Southall’s roots and the places which offered him a chance to chase his dreams and ultimately reach the things that he had dreamt of.


Two major clubs wanted to acquire Southall because of his amazing performance, one of them was Wigan Athletic which failed to purchase Neville. The other one was Bury, which agreed to pay 31,000 pounds to Winsford for Neville.

Although he was convinced by the manager of Bury, Dave Connor, to join the team, he never had the chance to play for him since the owners decided to replace the manager for the new season (1980-81).

Neville Southall got the opportunity to develop his skills under Wilf McGuinness’s leadership. He earned his first cap in a match against Wigan Athletic on September 20 of 1980. After keeping 15 clean sheets, Southall achieved Bury’s player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards.

Ultimately, in the summer of 1981, it was announced that Southall will be joining Everton. Everton's first-choice goalkeeper was Jim McDonagh, who left the club soon after Neville Southall's arrival. Everton had 2 other goalkeepers at the time who were Jim Arnold and Martin Hodge. Neville Southall had to prove that he is better than these three in order to get some playtime in the field, and he did as was said.

He earned his first cap against 

Ipswich Town

 in October. He made another appearance in a match against 

Aston Villa

. He managed to keep the goal shut for the game which convinced the manager that Neville should be present in the field for the whole season. He was considered one of the best goalkeepers in the First Division alongside Ray Clemence, Peter Shilton, and Joe Corrigan. 

Soon after it became apparent that Neville is suffering from ulcerated toes, which made it hard for him to play. 

He was transferred to Port Vale for 2 months as a loan player and made 9 appearances for the team in the Fourth Division. 

Port Vale

 manager, john McGrath, was impressed by Neville’s performance and he tried to purchase Neville permanently but Everton refused the offer as Neville was one of the best goalkeepers that Everton has ever had.

Everton preferred Arnold over Neville for the new season (1983-1984) and it was no wonder that Everton started off the season weak. Southall made his first appearance of the season in the League cup final against 


. Despite his flawless performance and clean sheets, he was used rarely in tournaments or even regular matches.

In 1985, Everton managed to secure his place in the European Cup but this was the year that English clubs were banned because of the Heysel stadium disaster. Southall was believed that if they had the chance to compete in the tournament they would have a huge chance of bringing the trophy to England.

However, Everton didn’t finish the season without any trophies and managed to obtain FA Charity Shield. Soon after, Southall agreed on the terms of a six-year contract with Everton which was the longest contract the club had ever issued. Unfortunately, Southall suffered an ankle injury and had to take his time off to recover. Southall's absence cause Everton to lose both the league title and FA Cup.

He came back stronger than before, helping Everton to claim another league title. He achieved 2 men of the match awards against 




. Regarding this matter, Southall stated that it was much more enjoyable to win these awards while he was struggling to stay in shape and was having difficulties with his injuries.

Colin Harvey took Everton's management role in 1987 and Southall declared his satisfaction with the change and stated that Harvey was a better man to lead the team since he was well aware of Southalls passion to be the best. Everton finished the season in the fourth position of the league and set a record of 27 goals conceded in 40 games.

Southall underwent knee surgery and missed the opening games of the 1988-89 season. This season was a nightmare for Everton since the team lost some of his greatest players and failed to replace them in time so suffered heavy losses and finished the season in the eight positions.

Everton experienced another bad season as it lost to Aston Villa by an embarrassing result of 6-2. After this event, Southall requested a transfer and displayed his protest by sitting next to the goal in the halftime of the first match of the season while his teammates wherein the changing rooms. He was fined two weeks wage for this behavior although he claimed that he only did that to clear his mind.

Alex Ferguson came to Southall's rescue, but Neville's hostile manner dissuaded Ferguson to sign Southall as 

Manchester United

’s goalkeeper.

Everton's former manager, Howard Kendall, came back to the club and Colin Harvey was demoted to Kendall’s assistant. Everton finished the league in 9th place.

After this season Southall went all downhill, he received death threats from Everton fans and was called as a weak link by Everton's new manager Joe Royle.

Fast-forwarding to December 1997, when Southall joined Southend United on a short-term deal and shortly after signed for 

Stoke City

 in February 1998. After leaving the mentioned club in the summer of the same year he stated that his stay at the club was one of his worse experiences throughout his whole career.

On March 12, 2000, after Joining Bradford City as a player-coach, he had to once again step into the field because of the fact that all four goalkeepers of the team were injured. He became the fourth oldest player in the premier league history at the age of 41.



Neville Southall nationality

, he has played for Wales many times. He was a second-choice goalkeeper at the beginning of his international career. Neville Southall spent most of his time on the bench because the welsh manager Mike England would always choose Dai Davies over him. He only got his chance to play after the mentioned goalkeeper got retired.

He made his first official debut on May 27, 1982, in a match against Northern Ireland in which Wales managed to win by 3-0.

Unfortunately, Wales's national team wasn’t good enough to be qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. In the same manner, they were not good enough to rise through the group stage in UEFA Euro 1988, but it would be unfair not to mention that they were leading their group before losing 2 consecutive matches against 


 and Czechoslovakia.

In the 1990 FIFA World Cup, Neville Southall had the chance to play against some of the greatest footballers of the world like Ruud Gulit, 

Frank Rijkaard

, Rudi Voller, and Andreas Brehme. Once again Wales was unable to qualify for the world cup.

UEFA Euro 1992 was the event that Southall managed to set a record of 385 minutes without conceding an international goal which was ended by the Germans in the last match of the qualifying group stage.

FIFA World Cup 1994 was the event that many welsh football fans thought would be their best chance to finally make it into the world cup but then again Romania made things hard for them as Gheorghe Hagi scored a beautiful 25-yard goal and ruined the hopes of many welsh football fans.

Southall made a total of 92 appearances and it was a record until Chris Gunter broke the record in November 2018. Due to the fact that wales failed to reach World Cup tournaments or even any kind of world-class tournaments in the late 1900s, Southall earned most of his caps in qualifying games or friendly matches.


After Bobby Groulds resignation Neville Southall and Mark Hughes were appointed to conduct Wales's national team. After a 2-0 loss against Denmark, Mark Hughes replaced Southall and was appointed as the head coach of the team.

He also got appointed as the goalkeeper coach of Huddersfield Town and Tranmere Rovers while he was playing for Torquay United. He was then appointed as the manager of Dover Athletic but soon was fired as his assistant was promoted by the owners of the club. He then spent his time teaching young people with poor families and criminal records how to coach.

After a few years, he started his managerial career again with Hastings United. Again, sooner than everybody could imagine he was fired and the reason behind it was that Neville and the Hastings chairman had various disagreements which led to a strong argument between the two.

In November 2008, Southall was appointed as the assistant of Terry Yorath who was the manager of Margate in the Isthmian League. Soon after that, he was promoted to the caretaker-manager of the team after Yorath left the role.

Neville Southall Honors!

Now, for the last part of Neville Southall biography, we are going to take a look at his accomplishments and achievements throughout his career both individually and as a team. He earned his first award when he was a young boy and was playing for Winsford United. The award was the Cheshire Senior Cup for 1980. Everton managed to lift the league title for 2 years and won the FA cup for 1983-84, 1994-95.

As for the individual awards, he achieved the player of the year award for 1979-80 and Bury player of the year in 1980-81. His name is amongst the players' name list of Football League 100 legends. He also has been considered one of the greatest players of the 20th Century in the World soccer football magazine.

To sum this all up, Neville Southall has been a great player and even greater human being for supporting the disabled and the hopeless. Neville Southall has a marvelous personality, which has been one of the factors that made him a legend in football history. Even though his appearances have changed a lot through these years but his kind heart and kind personality have remained the same.

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