Cult hero Neville Southall: the first goalkeeper to make our list, Neville Southall was a shoe-in for our cult hall of fame.
Cult hero Neville Southall
Name: Neville Southall
Cult credentials: Brief but memorable spell, went on to greater things.
Time at Vale: 1983
John McGrath’s Vale side had been doing very nicely in their Division Four promotion bid when the side suffered a serious blow.
Experienced goalkeeper Barry Siddall had been a crucial addition to the side and alongside Phil Sproson, Wayne Cegielski, Colin Tartt and Russell Bromage had helped form a solid backline. When Siddall picked up a serious injury, it was crucial McGrath brought in the right man.
And he did in the shape of rookie Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall. The then lanky six footer had began at Bury before Everton snapped him up for £150,000 and he was farmed out to Vale for experience.
Southall only played nine games, but they still stick in the memory of this fan, at least. His handling was excellent, his kicking long and accurate and his shot-stopping, particularly in a game against former club Bury, breathtaking.
Southall never made enough appearances to be considered one of Vale’s all-time great keepers, although he apparently made quite a name for himself, elsewhere… But that short and memorable spell is more than enough to earn him a spot in the OVF Cult hall of fame.