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Everton Past Player Profile
NEVILLE SOUTHALL
Goalkeeper

Neville Southall FACTS
Born Llandudno, 16 September 1958
Height 6 ft 1 in (185.5 cm)
Joined Everton from Bury in July 1981 (£150,000)
Debut v Ipswich Town (h), 17 October 1981
Nicknames Big Nev, Baggy
Left Everton to join Stoke City as Player/Coach in March 1998 (free)
Finale v Tottenham Hotspur (h), 29 November 1997
Honours
  • Welsh International: Full and U-21
  • League Championship Winner (1985, 1987)
  • FA Cup Winner (1984, 1995)
  • European Cup-Winners' Cup winner (1985)
  • Footballer of the Year (1985)
  • Record Appearances for Everton: 750
  • Record Appearances for Wales: 93
PREVIOUS CAREER
Seasons Club Apps (Lg+Cup) Gls
1980-81 Bury 39 + 5 -
1982-83 Port Vale (on loan) 9 -
1997-98 Southend (on loan) 9 -
1998-98 Stoke City (on loan) 3 -

Link to ToffeeWeb Hall of Fame -- Neville Southall

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
  • Fantastic reflexes
  • One-on-one situations
  • Excellent at crosses
  • Acrobatic
  • Courageous
  • Personal Grooming
  • Lobs!
  • Getting on a bit now
BIOSKETCH
 
Neville Southall is a goalkeeper of outstanding ability who is now rated as a legend alongside Peter Shilton.  It was in July 1981 that he completed the remarkable two-year transformation from Llandudno hod-carrier to First Division footballer.  He turned his back on the building site after an eventful career in Welsh non-League football.  He was a centre-back in his teens and had unsuccessful trials with several clubs including Crewe and Bolton.  He moved between the posts after joining Llandudno Swifts, then had short spells with Conway United and Bangor City before moving to Cheshire League side Winsford.

Bury bough him for £6,000 in 1980, and then Howard Kendall moved in with a £150,000 bid.  After claiming a first-team place, he was dropped in favour of Jim Arnold and in 1982-83 he was one of ten Everton players loaned out when he went to Port Vale.  He returned to win back his place and proved so consistently brilliant that Kendall felt able to compare him with Gordon Banks.

Southall is magnificent in the air and has the sort of cat-like reflexes that leave opposing forwards pounding the turf in disbelief.  He became firmly established as first-choice for Wales, winning a record 91 caps, and in 1985 he was voted Footballer of the year by the Football Writers' Association.  A serious injury kept him out of the Everton side from March until October 1986 and, although he missed the 1986 FA Cup Final, he went on to collect another Championship medal in 1987.

In the mid- to late-eighties, Neville Southall was definitely one of the top three goalkeepers in the world, some even say he was the best.  Through the nineties, as Southall matured and aged, he was expected to retire gracefully, but Big Nev confounded the critics and just kept on going.  He surpassed Ted Sagar's incredible appearance record, and went on to chalk up his 700th appearance at the 1996-97 season opener against Newcastle United.

His best recent season was 1994-95, when he helped Everton to a record seven consecutive clean sheets in the Premiership, and rounded it all off with an excellent performance in the second half of the 1995 FA Cup Final to deny the devilish red onslaught.  During the 1996-97 season, Joe Royle became concerned that Neville would walk out of Goodison Park for a job in management, and tried to protect against the inevitable by bringing in Paul Gerrard from his old club, Oldham Athletic.  But making Southall the scapegoat for Everton's early FA Cup exit to Bradford City proved a mistake.

Southall is a complete keeper, totally fearless, excellent reflexes, very acrobatic and he controls his box like no-one. Many strikers fear Southall for his courage.  He started the 1997-98 season revitalised by the return of his great friend and mentor, Howard Kendall as manager, and his early season form showed little sign that he would be moving on.  But things were changing behind the scenes, with Kendall offering Southall a permanent coaching role at Everton.  Nev wanted to keep playing and turned this down, so the club hired Mervyn Day.

In September 1997, Southall became the first player to chalk up 200 appearances in the Premiership.  Soon after, Howard Kendall decided to give Paul Gerrard a run that proved almost as bad as the one he had under Joe Royle the previous season.  Then, at the end of November 1997, Kendall surprised everyone by signing Thomas Myhre from Viking Stavanger.  On November 29, 1997, Neville Southall made his 750th senior appearance for Everton (and his last) against Spurs at Goodison Park.

After being offered on a free transfer to First Division clubs, Southall took up a two-month loan at Southend United – and never finished on the winning side in 9 games!  After that humiliation, Big Nev took on another loan spell, this time nearer home with Stoke City.  It was at Stoke that Neville Southall finally took the momentous decision to leave Everton and accept a position as player/coach.

So a truely momentous career finally came to an end.  Big Nev wanted to carry on in the Everton goal 'til he was at least 40, but it was not to be.  A nice touch, probably instigated by Howard Kendall, was recalling Nev as Guest of Honour at Goodison Park for a final gesture of appreciation from the packed crowd who nervously awaited the final nail-bitting relegation decider against Coventry City.  Took the shine of things a bit, but a nice touch all the same.

Since leaving Everton, Southall carried on playing for Torquay United and Bradford City.  He continued to coach at Bradford, York and Tranmere, but joined Kevin Ratcliffe at Shrewsbury in December 2001, to provide goalkeeper cover, if required. In March 2002 he moved on again, joining Dagneham and Redbridge, again as goalkeeper cover.

 
NEVILLE SOUTHALL – EVERTON CAREER STATISTICS
League
Season
Squad
Number
League
Apps(sub)
League
Goals
Cup
Apps(sub)
Cup
Goals
TOTAL
Apps(sub)
TOTAL
Goals
1981-82 1 26 (-) - 1 (-) - 27 (-) -
1982-83 1 17 (-) - 2 (-) - 19 (-) -
1983-84 1 35 (-) - 19 (-) - 54 (-) -
1984-85 1 42 (-) - 21 (-) - 63 (-) -
1985-86 1 32 (-) - 17 (-) - 49 (-) -
1986-87 1 31 (-) - 8 (-) - 39 (-) -
1987-88 1 32 (-) - 17 (-) - 49 (-) -
1988-89 1 38 (-) - 16 (-) - 54 (-) -
1989-90 1 38 (-) - 11 (-) - 49 (-) -
1990-91 1 38 (-) - 15 (-) - 53 (-) -
1991-92 1 42 (-) - 8 (-) - 50 (-) -
1992-93 1 40 (-) - 7 (-) - 47 (-) -
1993-94 1 42 (-) - 6 (-) - 48 (-) -
1994-95 1 41 (-) - 8 (-) - 49 (-) -
1995-96 1 38 (-) - 11 (-) - 49 (-) -
1996-97 1 34 (-) - 4 (-) - 38 (-) -
1997-98 1 12 (-) - 1 (-) - 13 (-) -
Totals: 578 (-) - 172 (-) - 750 (-) -
Last update: 9 March 1998

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