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Born : 16th September 1958
Birthplace : Llandudno
Height : 6ft 1ins
Everton appearances : 578
As a schoolboy, Neville Southall didn’t play in goal, he played centre-half, representing the Caernarvan District side, but after very little success, he switched his attention to his goalkeeping.
When Southall left school, it wasn’t to joing a professional football club as a player, it was to take up jobs as a dustman, a cleaner, and a hod-carrier, although he played regularly in goal for teams such as Bangor City, Conwy United, and Winsford United.
It was at the latter team that Southall was noticed, by Bury, who paid Ã‚Â£9,000 for the 22 year old keeper who they sold just one year, and 44 appearances, later, for Ã‚Â£150,000 to Everton.
Things didn’t start smoothly at Goodison for Southall, and in his first ever Goodison derby, Everton were beaten 5-0 and Southall was sent out on loan to Port Vale in January 1983. However, he only made 9 appearances for Vale before returning to Goodison a changed, and much improved, goalkeeper.
He went on to become the finest goalkeeper that Everton, and his home country Wales, has ever seen. and became the fourth goalkeeper to win the Player of the Year award in 1985.
There is no doubt that Southall’s world-class performances played a major part in Everton’s run to be one of England’s top clubs. Though he possessed brilliant reflexes which enabled him to make some outstanding saves, what gave him the edge was an astonishing capacity to change direction at the last moment, sometimes even in mid-air!
League Championship in 1984-85 and 1986-87
FA Cup 1983-84
European Cup Winners Cup 1984-85
92 Wales Caps