Southall's belated induction into Hall of Fame

, 10 June, 66comments  |  Jump to most recent

Neville Southall is set to be inducted into the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame in October.

Everton's legendary goalkeeper has been overlooked for the honour in previous years, although according to the Liverpool Echo the Museum have claimed he has come very close before, but that will change this year.

The Footballer of the Year of 1985, Southall won two league titles, two FA Cups and the European Cup Winners' Cup with Everton and remains Wales's most capped player at international level.

He will be joined on the Museum's honour roll this year by two more former Blues, Everton Ladies Rachel Unitt and Rachel Brown-Finniss.  

Reader Comments (66)

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Ian Pilkington
1 Posted 10/06/2016 at 15:37:23
Long overdue recognition of one of the finest British 'keepers ever. If you were picking the best Everton team of all time Big Nev would be first on the team sheet with Dixie Dean.
Chris Corn
2 Posted 10/06/2016 at 15:38:41
Absolute disgrace it's took this long. Best goalie in the world by miles at his peak and never gets a mention. It's always Yashin, Banks, Shilton, Schmeichel blah blah.

He was instrumental in winning our trophies, especially the 95 cup final and between him and Watson kept us in the division at times in the 90's.

Mark Riding
3 Posted 10/06/2016 at 15:41:50
Tell them to poke it Nev.
Ian Burns
4 Posted 10/06/2016 at 15:56:34
Ian - 1 - Chris - 2 - well said - fully endorsed.
Simon George
5 Posted 10/06/2016 at 16:28:58
One of the greatest of all time.
Brian Sephton
6 Posted 10/06/2016 at 16:44:22
I remember watching an old clip and couldn't believe how fast his reactions were. A true blue legend and the best goalie by a mile we have had in my time 65 years.

Better by a long way than Tim Howard and better than the over-rated Banks.
Dave Ganley
7 Posted 10/06/2016 at 16:46:28
What a player. Best of his generation. Legend is overly used these days but he was. Well done Nev
Matthew Williams
8 Posted 10/06/2016 at 16:51:44
About time... Royal Blue Legend!
Christopher Wallace
9 Posted 10/06/2016 at 16:52:02
First I've heard of this "honour".

Just had a quick look and noticed Michael Owen and Gazza have already been indicted... a bit pathetic really.

Patrick Murphy
10 Posted 10/06/2016 at 16:53:44
How come it took so long, the most influential Everton player I have ever seen and probably the best goalkeeper we have ever had and at his peak the best in the world. That Everton team he played in during the mid to late 80s was a very impressive team and as yet they haven't as a group been inducted into the hall of fame yet the Manchester City team of the late 60s early 70s have, somebody, somewhere doesn't seem to like the Blues.
Chris Jones [Burton]
11 Posted 10/06/2016 at 16:57:20
I had a scan down the list of inductees and was shocked that Alan Ball was missing. The only Everton players I spotted were Dixie and Ray Wilson.
Christopher Wallace
12 Posted 10/06/2016 at 16:58:44
I've left my typo "indicted" in as it seems appropriate for Gazza, and Owen should be thrown in jail for being so damn boring!
John Graham
13 Posted 10/06/2016 at 17:08:18
He was a miserable so and so near the end of his career with us. Still remember him sitting by the goal posts. Mind you he had good reason as he could see the rubbish playing in front of him. An all time great in my eyes. Can't think of any better goalies we've had. Only one or two come close. Some good signs coming from the new ownership. Let's hope things are on the up and up.
John Pierce
14 Posted 10/06/2016 at 17:17:33
My screen name for most things is AbelSouthall, my admiration and general awareness of sport starts and ends with Big Nev. Nev himself won't give a damn if he's honoured because thats not how the man rolls.

Rescue a dog and that will get you the Nev's respect. My all time hero, biligerence at its very best, a dedicated and veracious trainer. I've watched so many games he's played in over and over. Calm, unfussy and just plain competent. The standard was so high, mistakes limited and rarely if any in the big games.

His off field demeanour and outspokeness has inevitably led to this honour being delayed, call it what you will. Player of the year a goal keeper you say? Never in this era. Up there with so many decent keepers in the 70/80's His only peer in my opinon, Rinat Dasayev he of Dymano Tiblisi and the feted custodian of the Russian goal when Van Basten came 'volleying.

His best performance, ironically was not in a blue shirt, was in Amsterdam for Wales 88/89 when he single handedly turned back Guilt, Van basten, Rijjkard and one Ronald Koeman as a 0-0 was salvaged from the Dutch Alamo only months after they were crowned European Champions

The man is a legend to all Evertonians, could this new dawn at Everton have the foresight to see past the bluster and opinion and let him train our goal keepers?

One would hope so! NSNO

John Pierce
15 Posted 10/06/2016 at 17:19:43
Only West And Sagar come close to Nev's gloves, West was supreme, and won 2 titles & a FA cup, Sagar for his longevity.
David Booth
16 Posted 10/06/2016 at 17:34:10
Truly amazing keeper, who was the bedrock of our success in the mid-eighties.

I cannot ever remember him making a mistake.

A devout Evertonian, Southall wanted to win EVERY game and couldn't tolerate losing or second best.

And how many times has he stuck up for us ever since: outspokenly reminding everyone of our heritage, standing and lost-pride?

Hope his nomination co-incides with a 'new Everton' muscling in at the top of the game again and Super Nev's unashamedly honest, confident attitude becoming part of our revised, winning mentality.

Very proud of him - and for him.

Don Alexander
17 Posted 10/06/2016 at 17:41:00
Westy gave up on going to the '70 World Cup as the no.1 England keeper (he said he'd be homesick given he'd toured there in '69 and that's when Sir Alf put him above Banksy). So that's me and Ramsey saying he was better than even Gordon Banks, and I know that Nev was even better than Westy. In fact I have never seen a better goalie.

Mark Murphy
18 Posted 10/06/2016 at 17:54:51
I'm often asked whose the best player I've seen for Everton and I've been watching us for over 40 years.

I always get raised eyebrows when I answer Big Nev.

The best keeper in the world and up there with Labby and curly little Alan Ball in my list of heroes
Jeff Hough
19 Posted 10/06/2016 at 18:01:49
In the 1980's Tricky Trev was my first love and that will probably never change, although it was a close run thing as I loved all of that team. However, without a doubt Southall is the best goalkeeper I have ever seen, not just in an Everton shirt, I mean the best ever!

What pissed me off recently was Chris Coleman mentioning great Welsh players of the past who they will be representing at the Euros this month. He mentions the usual Manc bastards and gobshite subjects but no mention for Ratcliffe or Southall. Absolutely appalling, but what else would you expect from such a cheating twat!

Nick Entwistle
20 Posted 10/06/2016 at 18:07:37
I saw that Jeff, was on the Football Focus Euro preview... terrible terrible and usual nonsence from the Beeb. He said Rush and Hughes, Giggs and Speed plus another. Two played for Everton of course but Southall was the obvious absence.
Ste Traverse
21 Posted 10/06/2016 at 18:52:05
Well said Chris #2.

I find it amazing even David Seaman seems to get a mention ahead of Big Nev when the talk is about best all-time goalies. Seaman wasn't fit to wipe Nev's backside.

And his book called 'Everton winter Mexican summer' Peter Reid rated Nev higher than Peter Shilton, who he played with for England.

And in an interview a few years ago, Ian Rush reckoned he'd have got twice as many derby goals but for Big Nev, and his injury towards the end of the season in 85/86 is what many of us believe cost us the double.

He's the best keeper I've seen bar none. A living legend.

Jay Wood
22 Posted 10/06/2016 at 19:09:08
John @ 14.

"His best performance, ironically was not in a blue shirt, was in Amsterdam for Wales 88/89 when he single handedly turned back Guilt, Van basten, Rijjkard and one Ronald Koeman as a 0-0 was salvaged from the Dutch Alamo only months after they were crowned European Champions."

I watched that game live. I honestly don't think I've ever seen one single player determine the result of a match more than Big Nev that night.

It was absurd! Against another keeper it could have been 7-8-9 goals against, no exaggeration. Against world class players and a world class team, he pulled off worldy after worldy, all without a care in the world.

Giant of a player.

Jay Harris
23 Posted 10/06/2016 at 19:32:17
Giant keeper, giant personality and giant of a man.

Came from a humble background and became the best goalkeeper in the world for a number of years.

Absolute disgrace and a sign of contempt towards Everton that it has taken until now for him to be inducted.

Kev Johnson
24 Posted 10/06/2016 at 20:12:32
Simply the greatest goalkeeper to have graced Goodison park . Was an honour to have seen him at his peak.
Daniel Lawrence
25 Posted 10/06/2016 at 20:43:30
The fact that a egotistical charlatan like Kenwright was/had himself inducted years ago and yet it has taken this long for the best keeper to don the shirt to make it in, says it all about the way this club has been run for the last 15 years.
Christy Ring
26 Posted 10/06/2016 at 20:51:40
Absolutely SHOCKING that he is only recognized now. I'm probably biased, but the best keeper in the world in his prime, and worth at least 12 points a season to us.

Ray Clemence is on the list, wouldn't lace his boots, and I see Mark Lawrenson is on the panel??

Dan Davies
27 Posted 10/06/2016 at 21:16:48
My favourite player from that era. Well deserved.
Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 10/06/2016 at 21:21:41
Jay 22, I remember watching the highlights, and couldn't believe how Southall made some of them saves that night. Neville Southall, is the only player I have seen play for Everton, who I could genuinely put up an arguement for, to be part of football's greatest ever eleven.
Andy Doyle
29 Posted 10/06/2016 at 22:21:32
Nice to see everybody to a man agree. Big Nev – best in the world. What a statement! Congrats, Nev!
Geoff Risebrow
30 Posted 10/06/2016 at 22:37:54
I have seen Big Nev, Schmeichel, Shilton and Seaman all play and Big Nev is by far the best. The saves he used to pull off were out of this world.

Well deserved award.

Patrick Murphy
31 Posted 10/06/2016 at 22:46:49
Daniel (25) I honestly don't think Bill has been inducted to the National Football Museum hall of fame and you may be getting mixed up with the club's own hall of fame. However, if you're right about Southall's absence from Everton FC's hall of fame I would agree whole-heartedly with you.
Mark Ryan
32 Posted 10/06/2016 at 23:35:59
He'll be sad today. He idolised Muhammed Ali and like many of us will miss the great man. The best goalie I have ever seen play bar none.
James Lauwervine
33 Posted 10/06/2016 at 23:44:25
Agree with those saying it's a fucking disgrace that this is has taken so long. If he'd played for one of the other youknowwho bastard teams It would have been done years ago. Another example of our club being treated with disrespect. The BBC is one of the worst at this and if and when the Koeman/Moshiri combo wins us the league I will dance in my underpants in front of the BBC Headquarters (don't hold me to that).
Jason Pullen
34 Posted 11/06/2016 at 01:51:45
As an Australian he's one of the main reasons I support Everton. My hero as a young goalkeeper.
Peter Mills
35 Posted 11/06/2016 at 11:29:30
I didn't see Neville's performance for Wales against Holland, but remember reading the reports and some of the comments by the Dutch. However I was fortunate enough to watch his display at Sheffield Wednesday towards the end of the 84-85 season, when some of his saves defied belief.

We were honoured to watch him for so long, and seeing him come out to claim that catch in the dying seconds of the '95 Cup Final, and being part of the roar that greeted it, is one of my best Everton moments ever.

Roy Johnstone
36 Posted 11/06/2016 at 15:15:03
I still think Nevilles injury in 1986 cost us the double. Bobby Mimms was a decent deputy, but nowhere near as confidence inspiring as big never. As an aside, I think Chris Coleman never gives Everton players any credit as we hammered Fulham 4-1 in the mid naughties at goodison an cost him his job. Memorable to me as it was my daughters first visit. Pure speculation of course, but he does have the face of a bitter man.
Peter Morris
37 Posted 11/06/2016 at 16:10:40
The reality is the museum was hijacked from Preston and transferred to Manchester, where it is, in part ,supported financially by the local council. Its focus is bound to , and does, reflect a view on the national game from a Mancunian perspective, with name such as Beckham, Cantona, Giggs, Nobby Styles, Bobby Charlton, blah blah, and even Colin Bell and Francis Lee from Man City in there. The only Blue is Dixie Dean.
Disgraceful really for something that purports to reflects the national game, but I'm not at all surprised either.
John Hughes
38 Posted 11/06/2016 at 16:22:28
Type or paste your comment here. PLEASE capitalise initial letters of proper names and use proper grammar. No txt-speak; all-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted
John Hughes
39 Posted 11/06/2016 at 16:27:05
The best I have ever seen should have been done years ago Hail Neville Southall !
Mike Moore
40 Posted 11/06/2016 at 16:33:50
I don't and I'm sure Nev doesn't care that the BBC , Chris Coleman etc etc don't mention him when they talk about the Welsh "greats". Its that we think hes a legend is all that matters, I remember the FA Cup replay against the Shite after the 4-4 draw in 1991, Dave Watson scoring early and between him and Neville they kept them out giving us victory. I idolised him then and I still do now.
Colin Glassar
41 Posted 11/06/2016 at 16:46:30
He's married to Charlotte Jackson, Roy. I doubt he's bitter.
Graham Mockford
42 Posted 11/06/2016 at 17:58:25
I think many of the reactions on this post are quite frankly sad and seem to be reflective of a victim mentality.

I mean the OP sets it off with the headline. 'Belated induction'.

When if what has happened is one of our best ever players is being honoured and recognised. That's it. Good news!!

But the reaction is all 'it should have been sooner, everyone hates us, blah blah blah.....'

Trust me the media don't hate us, we are the not the subject of bias, it's just many of you are a little erm ..... paranoid.

Rob Hooton
43 Posted 11/06/2016 at 19:58:59
I was our school goalie in the late '80's and early '90's and Big Nev was (and still is!) my hero.

The best keeper I have ever seen, love the way he is still passionate and says it as he sees it. True legend in every sense of the word

Barry McNally
44 Posted 12/06/2016 at 12:51:34
It lost any credibility when Sun Jihai was inducted last year.
Tony Draper
45 Posted 12/06/2016 at 15:08:10
Big Nev doesn't make compromises.

He's tactless.

He doesn't care if what he says offends someone or a bunch of people or everyone.

He doesn't make convoluted explanations for why he holds such opinions.

Thank God !

Big Nev was always the safest hands and if Everton was run according to his stark, undiluted principles then we would be the greatest club in Europe, by far.

He's an uncompromising Evertonian as we all should be.
He isn't remotely interested in the affairs of other clubs and neither should we be.

Big Nev is an Everton Jedi Knight !
We should all heed him.

Peter Roberts
46 Posted 12/06/2016 at 17:30:28
Has there ever been a better goal keeper??? I don't think so. Maybe a few as good as him but better? Not in my memory.

Tony Draper
47 Posted 12/06/2016 at 18:12:34
Peter @46.
No, there never was, there isn't and unless Nev clones & drills us another then there bloody well won't be.

I have seen that man defy all belief, then bollock and then organise his back four. HIS back four.

William Ralph or Neville MBE ?
GREATEST ever Evertonian ?
(And here I feel deep sadness because Tommy Lawton really should be utterly revered, but we treated him abysmally. Our shame ).

Peter Roberts
48 Posted 12/06/2016 at 19:09:53
I wish I was old enough to understand how good he was at the time... I recall just thinking "he should not be scored against". Whitesides goal against him broke my heart, how did he not save it??? That was my expectations of him as a 9 year old fan. Only subsequent years and watching the likes of Richard Wright and Paul Gerrard made me realise. Nigel Martyn was an excellent keeper... but compared to big nev? Not even close and I liked Martyn.

The average fan who thinks football was invented when the premier league started will say "schmichael all day".... then again they would say Roy Keane was a greater player than Alan Ball.

Love Southall and love what he stands for.

Tony Draper
49 Posted 12/06/2016 at 19:28:21
Peter @48.
That moment will remain forever chiselled into the obsidian of my memory.

Nine ?
Nine years of Blue ?
Perfect !
Old enough to idolize and to understand and to ache !

Neville Southall is by far the greatest, most dedicated, most gifted, jaw dropping footballer that I have ever had the privilege to see. He was Everton, IS Everton, will ALWAYS be Everton and he Captained Everton.

I bumped into him once, in Queens Square, he is by faaaaaar the most gentle but most terrifying human that I shall ever meet. His persona is just undiluted, he exudes WIN !

Ian Smitham
50 Posted 12/06/2016 at 19:53:47
Peter Mills #35.

I was at that game. Unbelievable. My only other recollection of the day, Was Paul Bracewell, the chasing of the Wednesday players.

Ian Smitham
51 Posted 12/06/2016 at 19:56:23
Have to record too that I was at the Duncan Fergusson game at OT. My gave player was Captain and to my knowledge never played for us again after that game.

Big Nev wasted so much time it was sooooooo funny, their fans were going beserk and afterwards SAF was beside himself with rage over Southalls antics. Brilliant

Ian Smitham
52 Posted 12/06/2016 at 20:00:07
Last and sorry to bore you. I am 55 YO. Still play a bit of 5 a side, when I go in goal I give a running commentary,,it drives people mad, but when I make a save my fave is "Southall to the rescue"

For those of us at a certain age, I recon we can hand on heart say that we had the best goalie in the World.

Brian Denton
53 Posted 12/06/2016 at 20:01:14
I was behind the goal at Wednesday when Nev made that save (and a number of others to be honest - we were a bit under the cosh). My other memory is that the stadium announcer welcomed us on to the pitch as "champions to come" although we hadn't clinched it at that stage. Which was nice.
Peter McCann
54 Posted 12/06/2016 at 20:42:01
I don't know what some people are saying. He was simply the best keeper in the world in his prime and I hate saying it but if Sky was about he would be an even bigger icon. He was the best by a mile.

I was brought up with Gordon West and he was brilliant (how was he ever kept out the side by David Lawson I will never know) but big Nev was simply the greatest and will never be surpassed. Having said that, he won't give a fig about the honour.

Ian Smitham
56 Posted 12/06/2016 at 21:57:55
Brian Denton, #53, "that save" Wow. I recall it being in the start of MOTD for a bit.
Thomas Lennon
57 Posted 12/06/2016 at 22:23:40
Until he broke his ankles - the best.
Ian Riley
58 Posted 12/06/2016 at 22:26:32
If Mr Southall had played for Manchester united or Liverpool would he have waited this long?

Mr Southall was a world class goalkeeper. Dedicated to his profession to become better. Everton legend who cares passionately about the club and the fans.

Mr Southall has spent many years supporting youngsters to turn there lives around. He is a credit to our club.

Better late than never. You deserve it!!

Dan Davies
59 Posted 13/06/2016 at 01:06:08
I'd have Big Nev representing the minority shareholders on the board tomorrow. He would let Mosh now exactly what's to be expected from this club no holds barred, a breath of fresh air. A WINNER.
Brian Wilkinson
60 Posted 13/06/2016 at 05:01:27
One of my earlier recollections was one of his first starts, we played Birmingham City away midweek, Think it ended 1 all, he had a cracking game, Still recall me and my brother saying he looks top class.

Without doubt, the pothole Nev landed in playing for Wales robbed Everton of the double in 86.

Still my all time fav player, I envied people who saw Dixie, Ball, Young in the flesh, but to the younger generation, without being biased, Southall was the finest goalkeeper I ever saw and doubt I will see a keeper as good again.

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 13/06/2016 at 07:08:25
I might have the wrong game, but I think Mark Higgins scored two against Coventry, in a game I think we won 2-1. southall made the best save I ever saw in this match in the park end goal. Like his save at Spurs, only better, is how it looked to my ten year old eyes anyway.

Agree with Brian, that Lansdown Rd pitch, cost Everton, the double in 1986. That and Linekar forgetting to put his boots in the skip for Oxford.

Les Green
62 Posted 13/06/2016 at 12:50:20
Maybe he'd have got in quicker if his name was Rachel. Seems to be an Everton theme
Les Green
63 Posted 13/06/2016 at 13:00:20
I remember being at Goodison for that 7-1 game (Southampton was it?). I think it was 5-0 at half time and he never came out for the second half, but sent out Paul Gerard instead to get some experience. We conceded of course
Eugene Ruane
64 Posted 13/06/2016 at 13:49:37
A real Everton legend and an all-time favourite of mine

Not just because of his truly incredible ability and achievements, but because he was/is that rarest of creatures - a genuine free-thinking individual in a sport where most appear comfortable to be part of the herd.

Not for Neville media-friendly, talk-without-saying-anything bollocks like 'I thought we were lacking a bit in the first half but we kept working, had a couple of good chances in the second half and maybe should have had a penalty...'

More like 'I thought we was crap.'

Lenny Kingman
65 Posted 13/06/2016 at 16:44:45
Great keeper Southall but by his own admission he was a footballer wearing a pair of boots, not bloody Einstein. His laughably named and mildly amusing autobiography The Binman Chronicles tells you a little about his non conformity, and also about not giving a flying fook about the wider opinion. I suppose the dolts who are on the Hall of fame selection committee observed Nev from afar and maybe witnessed his sit down protest antics and thought no, he is not for us.

Of course if he had been English, not only would England have won the World Cup in 1990 but one of Everton's greatest keepers would have had statues erected to him, never mind a crusty ticket to a selective hall of fame. What is it really and what does it even stand for judging by some of the clowns feted as such. I'm sure Neville doesn't care one jot whether he's in or he's out. When it really mattered he was up there with the best of them.

Nathan Rooney
66 Posted 13/06/2016 at 16:46:47
Best keeper I have ever had the pleasure to see live, and I was so proud that he played for Everton.

As others have said, had he played for anybody else and been less outspoken, this would & should have happened years ago.

How we could have done with his spirit and attitude last season, and prior to that to be fair.

I would love Moshiri to offer him something/anything to do with the players (motivational speaker/player liason officer for new signings?), that he could fit in alongside the work he does with children, as Nev is exactly what Everton need.

Sadly, I doubt he will be entertained.

No offence intended to Sharp/Stuart/Snods ,but I would swap the three of them for one Big Nev in a heartbeat.

Frank Fitzsimmons
68 Posted 18/06/2016 at 18:07:08
I'm old enough to have watched some of the legends of goalkeeping at Goodison Park including the greats Lev Yashin of Russia and Gordan Banks, but I've been blessed to watch 'our own' Westy and Big Nev week in week out.

Gordon Banks was probably the best of them all , but Westy (and his handbag) and Big Nev came very close. Two of the best by any measure – and I would probably give Big Nev the edge. Had they played for the other lot or Man Utd we wouldn't have heard the last of it and I agree it's an absolute disgrace that this great man is only now being recognised. Both West and Big Nev had their little quirks, but we loved them even more because of them.

Big Nev – Blue through and through and he was a gem (a rough diamond perhaps but he didn't half sparkle).

Congratulations Big Nev very well deserved, it was a privilege to watch you. NSNO – that was Big Nev.

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