Philip Neville (born January 21, 1977 in Bury, England) is a English football player, who has spent most of his professional career at Manchester United, the team he joined as a youngster, but now plays for Everton.
The younger brother of Gary Neville, Phil made his debut for Manchester United in 1994 and from that point was a regular, although not consistent, member of the first team until he left the club in the summer of 2005. A versatile player, Phil can play in defence or midfield. He has mainly played as a left back (despite being right-footed) though it is genuinely unclear where his strongest position on the pitch is.
Phil has also regularly been picked for England squads, making his debut as a 19 year old against China in 1996. He was only briefly a regular first-choice player for the side - that was as a left back in 2000 under Kevin Keegan's management. In recent times he has struggled to make the squad with youngsters such as Stephen Warnock being preferred as backup to Ashley Cole. He has, nonetheless, once briefly captained the side in a friendly match.
Phil's England career included the honour of being the youngest member of Terry Venables' squad for Euro 96, though he never kicked a ball (his brother played in every match until the semi-finals); and being one of the players omitted at the last minute by Glenn Hoddle when he was selecting his final 22 for the 1998 World Cup. It is known that Hoddle's decision left Phil in tears, though media attention was almost entirely devoted to the exclusion of another player, Paul Gascoigne. Phil revealed in an interview that Gascoigne, not known for his maturity, took the younger Neville brother under his wing and consoled him.
Keegan played Phil at left back in Euro 2000 but was partly responsible for England's early exit from the competition - committing a needless foul which led to a late penalty for Romania which they scored to win the match and knock England out.
Neither of the Neville brothers went to the 2002 World Cup - Phil was left out, while Gary was injured. Both were back in the squad for Euro 2004.
Phil continued to play for Manchester United and seemed destined to spend his whole career there. Like his brother, arguably to a greater extent, he is much maligned by a quantity of football fans but more seasoned observers of the game see a mature, versatile and unfussy player who has proved very worthwhile as part of Manchester United's success. When Phil won his 50th England cap in 2004, however, former Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough, in his monthly Four Four Two column, bemoaned that such an "average" performer could win a milestone amount of caps. As of 14 November 2005 his tally had risen to 52 caps.
On August 4, 2005 Phil joined Everton on a 5-year contract for a fee in excess of £3million. He made his debut in a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Villarreal CF of Spain, coming face-to-face with his former Manchester United colleague Diego Forlan. The following weekend, Phil made his FA Premier League bow for the Toffeemen. Fittingly, it was against Manchester United. The match marked the first time Phil and brother Gary had faced off for opposing teams.
Phil is married with two children.
Phil was also an excellent cricketer in his youth and a contemporary in Lancashire's Under 19 side of England's star all-rounder Andrew Flintoff. It is said that he was good enough to have been a professional cricketer if football had not claimed him. One of Phil's former coaches called him the greatest schoolboy cricketer he'd ever known. His father, the wonderfully named Neville Neville, was a well known league cricketer in Lancashire.