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Phil Neal

Phil Neal

Born 20th February 1951 - Irchester

Games 633 with 2 sub appearances scoring 60 goals

Honours - 4 European Cups, 8 League Championships, 4 League Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 50 England Cap

Phil Neal will be remembered as one of the most consistent right backs the club has ever had on its books.  He served the club for over ten years and won four european cup winning medals in his time.  He is the only player to have achieved this feat.  He was also the captain on the ill fated night of the Heysel tragedy.

Neal arrived at the club as Bob Paisley's first ever signing from Northampton Town for £66,000.  Neal was Mr consistency when it came to the reds and was virtually an ever-present for eight seasons with the reds.  After signing in October 1974 he was more of a deputy in the side at either full back berth.  However he finally made the right back slot his own and never looked back.

Phil Neal was not a tought tackling defender but rather one with great positional sense and one that drew the mistake from the opposition player. He would force players wider and then nudge the ball clear without giving away daft free kicks.  Neal was also a player who through his penalty kicks in the main who scored a fair few goals for a defender.  Two of his most remebered goals came in European cup Finals.  The first was a spot kick in the 1977 final which sealed the game up at 3-1 and the second was the toe poked effort past the AS Roma keeper in the 1984 final.

In 1984-85 Neal was rewarded with the captaincy of the reds following the departure of Graeme Souness but with his career coming towards the end he didn't last long.  Sadly he was captain on the night of the Heysel disaster during the 1985 European Cup Final where 39 fans, mainly Juventus, died.  Neal himself though continued in the game when he left the reds and became player-manager of Bolton midway through the 85-86 season. He remained at Bolton for six years and since then had stints at Coventry City as manager, Cardiff and Manchester City also in managerial roles.  He also assisted Graham Taylor in an England coaching role.