Former Wales and Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall celebrates his 60th Birthday today, 16th September, he is described as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation but a little known fact is that Nev spent some of his early career at Bangor City.
Nev played for his home town of Llandudno before joining Bangor at the age of 16 in 1974, signing as a semi-professional on £10 a week, with Bangor City playing in the Northern Premier League. Nev’s opportunities for first team football at Bangor were limited and he only made a handful of appearances deputising for regular first team keeper Peter Eales.
Everton approached the then Bangor City manager Dave Elliot for permission to take Southall on trial, but Elliot left the club shortly after and no trial took place. With Bangor in financial trouble the paid playing staff began to leave the club, and Nev Southall left Bangor and went on to accept an offer of £3 a week to play for Conwy United in 1978.
After spending a year at Conwy, Nev joined Chesire League club Winsford and then onto Bury before joining Everton in July 1981 and his reign as one of the World’s outstanding goalkeepers began.
In seventeen years at Goodison, Nev amassed a club record 578 league appearances, making 710 Football League appearances in total, which also included spells at Port Vale, Southend, Stoke City, Torquay and Bradford. He won First Division Championship medals twice, in 1985 & 1987, and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1985. He also won FA Cup winners medals in 1984 & 95.
Nev made a record 92 appearances for Wales between 1982 and 1998, he was named in the PFA Team of the Year four consecutive times, and was listed as one of the world’s top ten goalkeepers on four occasions. He has also been named as one of the 100 ‘Greatest Players of the 20th Century’ by ‘World Soccer’ magazine. In 1996 Nev was awarded an MBE for his services to football.
Happy 60th Birthday Nev!
Goalkeeping royalty. pic.twitter.com/HtqYZTKkXx
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) September 16, 2018