Gary Alexander Neville (born 18 February 1975) is an English football coach, retired football player and co-owner of Salford City. After retiring from football in 2011, Neville went into punditry and was a commentator for Sky Sports until he took over the head coach position at Valencia in 2015. After being sacked by the club in 2016, he returned to his position as a pundit for Sky Sports later that year. He was also assistant manager for the England national team from 2012 to 2016.

Neville spent his entire playing career at Old Trafford, making him a one-club man. At the time of his retirement in 2011, he was Manchester

econd longest serving player in the squad, behind long-time teammate Ryan Giggs, and had served as club captain for five years. He is one of the most decorated English and European footballers of all time, having won a total of 20 trophies, including eight Premier League titles and two Champions League titles.

Neville made his international debut in 1995 and was first-choice right-back for England for more than ten years, representing the nation at three European Championships and two World Cups. He is England's most-capped right-back with 85 caps.

Neville is the older brother of twin siblings: his brother, Phil Neville, is a former Manchester United and Everton player, and his sister, Tracey Neville, is a retired netball international.

Contents

Club career

Manchester United

1994–2004

Neville joined Manchester United as an apprentice upon leaving school in 1991, and captained the youth side to FA Youth Cup glory in his first season. He made his senior debut for United in September 1992 against Torpedo Moscow in the UEFA Cup. Neville emerged as part of Alex Ferguson's youth-oriented side of the 1990s (nicknamed Fergie's Fledglings, an updated take on the 1950s equivalent Busby Babes) that included his brother Phil, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes.

In the 1994–95 season, Neville became United's first-choice right-back when Paul Parker was ruled out by injury, and remained so until his retirement, although in his first season as a regular player he often found himself on the sidelines as Denis Irwin was switched to right-back with Lee Sharpe (normally a winger) filling the left-back role.

Neville scored the first goal of his career in 1997 against Middlesbrough in a 3–3 draw, and he went on to score a total of five league goals for United; against Everton in 1999, Aston Villa in a 2–0 victory on 20 January 2001, the sole goal against Leicester City on 13 April 2004, and his final league goal came a week later when he scored the second in a 2–0 victory over Charlton Athletic on 20 April 2004. Neville also scored two goals in the UEFA Champions League, the first on 12 March 2003, when he scored the equaliser in a 1–1 draw with FC Basel, and his seventh and final ever United goal against Lyon on 23 November 2004 in Alex Ferguson's 1,000th game in charge of the club, a 2–1 victory.

"Gary was the best English right-back of his generation."

– Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on Neville

Neville formed a successful partnership with Beckham on the right wing, regularly contributing assists.

Following Roy Keane's departure in November 2005, Neville was appointed the new club captain.

In January 2006, his actions were the subject of some controversy after his celebration in front of the visiting Liverpool fans at Old Trafford, when he was seen to run from the halfway line towards the opposing fans to celebrate the 90th minute injury-time winning headed goal by United defender Rio Ferdinand. His actions were criticised by Liverpool and fellow England defender Jamie Carragher, sections of the media and police who blamed him for disturbances between fans after the game. He was subsequently charged with improper conduct by the FA. Neville contested this, asking if it was preferable for players to act like "robots" and show no emotions. He was fined £5,000 and warned about his future conduct.

Neville recovered from an injury suffered against Bolton Wanderers in March 2007 and in his first match back, a reserve game against Everton in January 2008, he scored a rare goal in the 21st minute of the game which helped Manchester United to a 2–2 draw.

On 9 April 2008, Neville made his long-awaited comeback against Roma in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg at Old Trafford, coming on as an 81st-minute substitute for Anderson; Neville was welcomed back to the pitch with a standing ovation, and was promptly given the captain's armband. It was Neville's 99th Champions League appearance. However, he was not selected for the European Cup final squad on 21 May, though he did join in with the post-match celebrations after United won on penalties following a 1–1 draw with Chelsea. Instead, Rio Ferdinand and Giggs lifted the trophy together having shared the captaincy during Neville's absence.

 

Neville started his first game in 17 months when he captained Manchester United for the 2008 FA Community Shield against Portsmouth on 10 August 2008. He then made another start against Zenit Saint Petersburg in the UEFA Super Cup, before making his first start at home since his injury against Villarreal in the opening group game of the 2008–09 Champions League. On 21 September 2008, Neville started his first league game in almost 18 months when he played against Chelsea. Neville extended his stay at Old Trafford until June 2010.

On 27 October 2009, Neville was sent off for a tackle on Adam Hammill in United's 2–0 away win against Barnsley in the League Cup Fourth Round. Neville added another medal to his honours list on 28 February 2010 when he came on as a substitute for Rafael in the 2–1 League Cup final win over Aston Villa. He did feature in enough league games to qualify for what would have been his ninth title medal, but United were beaten to the Premier League title by Chelsea who finished ahead of them by a single point.

Having made only sporadic appearances in the last couple of seasons, Neville stepped down as team captain in September 2010 in preference of a more-regular first-team player, usually Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidić or Patrice Evra, although he remained as club captain off the pitch. On 24 October, Neville made his 600th appearance and his penultimate start for United in a 2–1 away victory against Stoke City; after receiving a 34th minute yellow card for a foul against Matthew Etherington, Neville was shown leniency seven minutes later for another reckless tackle on the same player, and was substituted at half-time for Wes Brown.

On 2 February 2011, Neville announced his retirement from football after almost 20 years playing at Manchester United. Neville's final professional appearance was against West Bromwich Albion on New Year's Day 2011, a 2–1 victory at The Hawthorns. Neville later revealed that, during half-time of his last game, he sat on the toilet and knew for certain that it would be his last game. By the time of his retirement, Neville had won eight Premier League titles, three FA Cups, two Champions Leagues, an Intercontinental Cup, a FIFA Club World Cup, and two League Cups. The 2006 League Cup was his first trophy as captain.

His testimonial was played at Old Trafford against Juventus on 24 May 2011. Manchester United's starting line-up included members of the "Class of '92": Neville was joined by his brother Phil, Beckham, Butt, Scholes and Giggs. Juventus won the match 2–1. He made another appearance in Paul Scholes' testimonial at Old Trafford on 5 August 2011, playing for the New York Cosmos in their first fixture since their re-establishment in 2010.

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