Neville Southall: 'You don’t expect loose cannons to take over your own country'

Tuesday, 15 September, 2020 31comments  |  Jump to last
The former Everton keeper takes aim at Boris Johnson and JK Rowling and reveals how helping marginalised groups leaves little time to himself

» Read the full article at The Guardian


Reader Comments (31)

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Rudi Coote
1 Posted 17/09/2020 at 10:56:39
I respect Nev's views but this is an Everton forum not a political platform.
Bill Watson
2 Posted 17/09/2020 at 18:37:54
Top man!
Jim Burns
3 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:00:11
Just read that article and all I can say is what a shame that thus far only two of us have responded and commented on this wonderful insight regarding one of our greatest. Well done Bill.

Big Nev - only history will show how much our success through the eighties depended on this guy - he was an Everton Giant in every way and still is.

Andy Riley
4 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:17:14
I've just read the article and Nev was always my favourite player who was genuinely world class. I'm convinced that his injury playing for Wales cost us the double in 1986.

Seems a bit sad that such an icon has little involvement with the club currently I guess because he's not a yes man. Saw him a few years ago at a Blue Kipper evening and he was such an honest straightforward guy.

Christine Foster
5 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:29:24
Jim, I read the article the other night and fell asleep before I could post, in fact after reading it I read several other articles in a similar vein.

Politically incorrect, Big Never doesn't give a stuff about himself, his goal these days is helping marginalised groups have a voice, and learning as much as he can about their issues.

The groups vary from sex workers, to trans, to special needs kids, trying to raise awareness as much as he can. He says it as he sees it, as he has always done, from Everton to the government. He genuinely cares. It's not lip service. Would probably scare the pants off EitC but goodness, you have to admire him.

John Otway
6 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:30:08
Wonderful article. What a class act.
Dennis Stevens
7 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:30:32
Only just spotted this piece, thanks for linking to it Lyndon.

I've never really been one for heroes, but Nev the Save is as close as I'm likely to find. A world class keeper in his prime, always a bit of a maverick. I've always admired Southall's independence & individuality & his commitment to what he believes is right.

A unique character, which is a shame as we could do with many more like him.

Kevin Molloy
9 Posted 17/09/2020 at 21:54:41
At first what he says sounds radical. But actually, these issues are all trumpeted by the Guardian and Beeb relentlessly, all day every day.

There is no escape from this right on virtue signalling culture. Is he really lecturing Rowling on her reaction to trans rights cutting across those of women? Is he really sure he isn't just a teensy bit out of his depth...

Having read that article, I can predict with absolute certainty what Nev now thinks about anything and everything. It's not radical, its fucking boring. He's swallowed the woke pill and that's that.

Dave Bowen
10 Posted 17/09/2020 at 22:05:51
Have to agree with Kevin @ # 9. Boris is far from perfect, but would Nev rather have had that dangerous lunatic Corbyn & his cronies? World’s greatest keeper but yet another member of the PC brigade.
Tommy Carter
11 Posted 17/09/2020 at 22:09:00
Nev is anything but a yes man. I get the impression that he’s purposely antagonistic and it’s in his nature to try and be different.
These characteristics possibly made him the best goalkeeper in the world.

Any help he offers to any individual is to be applauded and the fact he puts a lot of effort into helping those who feel marginalised is commendable.

But his views on football are quite radical and I tend not to agree with most of them.

@ Dennis. You put it perfectly.

Had he transitioned straight into the Everton managerial role, its widely acknowledged that this was his wish. Would he have been a success?

Lee Mandaracas
12 Posted 17/09/2020 at 23:27:49
Afraid I am with Rudi (#1) on this. Regardless of agreeing or otherwise with his viewpoint I already feel threads on these pages too often disintegrate into political preaching with Tories this, Boris that and Corbyn the other in many threads that are irrelevant to the point. There's an avalanche of that in Westminster without finding it on a football forum.

If Big Nev wants to talk about our new signings, upcoming talent within our ranks or a recent performance I am all ears. For anything else, he is all over Twitter.

Can we not separate a footballing legend from his non-football related opinions if only on these pages?

Will Mabon
13 Posted 17/09/2020 at 23:40:39
Actually, Kevin, he's done anything but swallowed the "Woke pill". Otherwise he'd realize how managed these apparently organically-rising uproars really are, and their real intention.

I prefer to remember him for his football career. For a time, he really was the best keeper in the world. Irreplaceable.

Christine Foster
14 Posted 17/09/2020 at 23:46:12
Lee, normally I would agree with you but Neville Southall is an Evertonian of note and his efforts in general on the back of his career as one is important to many disabled or marginalised groups.

This site is about all things Everton and as such not always about the football but about life as an Evertonian in general. To follow your view would mean there should be no mention of EitC on the site, no comment on the politics regarding the delays to the stadium or any other non-football item that relates to the club.

I cannot agree. Political life in general impacts on the running of the club, its future and ability to function and thereby has to be part of any discussion. Its what makes ToffeeWeb better than most fan sites in my opinion.

Christine Foster
15 Posted 17/09/2020 at 23:48:36
Kevin, as Nev points out himself, he has been unaware of so many issues that he solicits the people actually concerned so he can learn what the issues are. I think Nev's view of Virtue Signaling would be two fingers... This from Wikipedia;

"In 2014 Southall started working as a teaching assistant at Canolfan Yr Afon, the Pupil Referral Unit for Blaenau Gwent, based in Ebbw Vale, helping pupils with their job seeking and soft skills, and liaising with local businesses to arrange work placements. He had previously worked in a similar role in London. He is a member of the trade union UNISON and serves as an international officer for his branch"

I'd say he has put his time and efforts into supporting others. With respect to JK Rowling, her views are all over the media in general with some supportive of her views and others not so, it's not just the BBC or The Guardian!

I don't find his views boring, I find them refreshing that he want to learn more and offer a platform for those affected.

Lee Mandaracas
16 Posted 17/09/2020 at 23:54:43
Hi Christine,

I appreciate your perspective and you have a point to an extent. However, if this article was celebrating his achievements and efforts for the marginalised singularly it would fit your characterisation and I would more than likely support it as such. My disappointment is with the bile regarding politicians he has a personal distaste for.

That separates itself utterly from EitC and our other extensions of the on the pitch achievements we are here to discuss. It is unrelated to the piece and an opportunity to vent about severe personal political bias. Even though those leanings may be the motivation behind his actions that is not made clear so appears as a very personal rant.

Admittedly, my observation wasn't precise in that but I would be as upset if Tim Cahill were extensively pouring scorn on Kier Starmer and the article linked on here (not that I have the slightest idea of Tim's political leanings and rightly so – that was merely to demonstrate my point).

Christine Foster
17 Posted 18/09/2020 at 00:09:57
Hi Lee, I take your point too. If it was purely an article on Nev's political distaste for all things Boris, Trump or the like, I could understand, as ToffeeWeb is not a political debating platform (even if it dissolves into one sometimes). But for the marginalized people, those deprived of a voice, and Evertonians sit in those groups, he offers the opportunity to use his Twitter platform to educate others.

So I guess I view it as him giving people who are impacted by life a voice rather than extolling his views on the Conservative Party, or any party for that matter.

Phil Sammon
18 Posted 18/09/2020 at 01:03:16
Nev seems to be a very difficult bloke.

He's got a problem with everything but unfortunately no solutions. I recall a while ago him saying that Everton should be winning the league titles and that nothing else is acceptable. While I can get behind the sentiment, there happens to be 19 other clubs in the league all striving to win every game. It's not as simple as flicking a switch and activating a ‘winning mentality'.

I had an Everton ‘Season Review' video that I watched over and over as a kid. It must have been from around ‘95. They interviewed Nev and showed a highlights reel of all his great outstretched saves. The interviewer remarked upon the brilliance. Nev pretty much turned his nose up and said that he put a higher value on the saves he'd made with his feet over the years – “That, to me, is a better save”, was the quote. Even as a 10-year-old it struck me that this was a man who could not be pleased.

He's a contrarian, if ever there was one.

Patrick McFarlane
19 Posted 18/09/2020 at 01:21:08
Successful footballer not allowed to have a political standpoint shocker! Anybody who stands up for the marginalised and those without a voice should be applauded.

It's very easy for most of us to ignore the real issues that real people face, but for those that do the same as Nev and defend the 'others' in society they don't have the platform that he does, so it would be remiss of him to fail to express his views. We can disagree with Nev's standpoint if we so wish, but we should play the ball and not the man.

Derek Thomas
20 Posted 18/09/2020 at 01:34:11
We need people like Southall who are not afraid to 'break wind in the palaces of the mighty' as it were. Somebody has to speak up for the silent minority.
Kevin Molloy
21 Posted 18/09/2020 at 08:23:26
Christine, yes, fair enough. I probably shouldn't have been so condemnatory, he is as entitled to his views as anyone. It's just that, for me, those views are ones I'm fed up hearing about. In voicing them they seem to defy anyone to think any other way, on pain of being denounced as a 'bigot' or whatever.
Brent Stephens
22 Posted 18/09/2020 at 08:58:43
Top man. If the editors want to include this article, that’s their decision. If you don’t want to read it, then don’t. I applaud Nev’s sense of social responsibility and his actions.
Lee Mandaracas
23 Posted 18/09/2020 at 09:15:36
It's a pity Nev chose to blur the two matters of the marginalised with the sentiments demonstrated in the title of this piece. Just because he chooses to blur the two messages into one doesn't mean those disagreeing with the platform for either should be bundled as disagreeing with both.

For me Phil Salmon (18) has utterly nailed this and that by no means indicates a resistance to the obvious fantastic work raising awareness and help for the marginalised. To infer such is pretty insulting at best.

Lee Mandaracas
24 Posted 18/09/2020 at 09:44:52
Sorry for my autocorrect misspelling your surname Phil Sammon - if anyone should be spellchecking a person's surname it's me!
Darren Hind
25 Posted 18/09/2020 at 09:53:45
"Its not as simple as flicking a switch and activating a "winning mentality"

I would agree with that If the big fella was only talking the talk

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 18/09/2020 at 10:29:07
He’s bang on about Everton imo, saying that everything is now being geared towards winning, which is the Everton way, and it’s possibly why he’s been overlooked by the club for years, because he always expects Everton to win, and not to be sadly, or very, very sadly, “punching above their weight”
Tony Shelby
27 Posted 18/09/2020 at 10:54:14
Phil (18) - I agree with you.

I met Nev at a function about 14 years ago and in the brief conversation we had with him he seemed to take a contrary stance to whatever we said.

In my opinion he is the greatest goalkeeper of all time though which is all that counts.

Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 18/09/2020 at 11:08:28
I posted on another thread that Nev is doing very good work listening to and helping people much worse off than himself.
Stan Schofield
29 Posted 18/09/2020 at 13:03:14
Nev was a great goalie and seems a nice bloke, but the stuff in that article is just a rant.
Gary Reeves
30 Posted 19/09/2020 at 19:32:38
I remember him on Sky saying "Modern football is rubbish, Cristiano Ronaldo? He's not a player – show-pony, blah blah etc." – Stuff of that Ilk. He struck me as an angry sort of guy struggling to find his place post-football career.

Now I commend his community work, if he's found a vocation good luck with it, I hope it helps people but I'll take my politics elsewhere if that's okay.

Great goalie like.

Dave Roberts
31 Posted 24/09/2020 at 17:09:28
I wonder why it is that some people find it so uncomfortable to have their comfort zone disturbed by a topic beyond the boundaries they set for themselves?

I'll take my politics elsewhere tough luck mate politics is all around you and you will have to take it from wherever it comes. Some think Nev's comments are a rant. But it's a rant I would be happy to listen to because anybody who doesn't like to hear criticism of Trump and Johnson on this site probably wouldn't want to hear it from anywhere else either. And that says more about them than it does about Nev.

And similarly, those who have a problem with wokeness probably have that problem because they lack the empathy to at least understand its origins and its agenda.

I say well done, Nev, for supporting those who have difficulty supporting themselves. If that upsets some people who cannot understand that then I thank you further because that is precisely the point.

The best goalkeeper in the world in his day has a commendable social conscience. Great, well done Nev, I find both entirely admirable.

Barry Rathbone
32 Posted 26/09/2020 at 15:14:12
He's selling a book so getting his name in the papers is a prerequisite.

Reading the piece, he comes over as a fella who holds court among a cabal of bellends at his local, spouting bombastic cliches as pearls of wisdom.

Undoubtedly a marvellous keeper but, like most footballers, utterly vacuous.


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