After 10 years as a professional with Manchester United, during which time he won six Premier League titles, three FA Cups, three FA Charity Shields, the Intercontinental Cup and the Champions League, he joined Everton in 2005, where he spent the final eight years of his playing career. Neville also played for England 59 times between 1996 and 2007, representing the nation at three European Championships. He could play in defence or midfield; due to this versatility, he operated in a number of different positions throughout his career, but was most often used as a full-back.
After earning his UEFA B Coaching Licence, Neville began his coaching career in 2012, filling in for Stuart Pearce with the England under-21s. When David Moyes, Neville's manager at Everton, left to join Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement in May 2013, Neville was considered for the Everton job, but he ultimately followed Moyes to Manchester United as the club's first-team coach. Neville retained his position under interim manager Ryan Giggs after Moyes was sacked in April 2014, but left the club when Louis van Gaal took over in July 2014.
Neville is the younger brother of fellow former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, and the twin brother of England netball international Tracey Neville. His father, Neville Neville, was commercial director of Bury.
Born in Bury, Greater Manchester, Neville, along with brother Gary, was one of "Fergie's Fledglings". Phil attended Elton High School where he was Deputy Head Boy. He started training with the Manchester United Academy along with his brother, then later joined as a trainee, making his first-team debut in the 1994–95 season but did not get many first-team opportunities until the following season.
While at Old Trafford, Neville helped United win six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the UEFA Champions League. He was not established as the club's first-choice left-back until the early 2000s due to the consistency of the much older Denis Irwin.
On 4 August 2005, Neville joined Everton on a five-year contract for a fee in excess of £3.5 million. He made his debut in a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Villarreal, coming face-to-face with his former Manchester United colleague Diego Forlán. The following weekend, Neville made his Premier League debut for the Toffees, against Manchester United. The match marked the first time Phil and brother Gary had played for opposing teams.
Neville's attitude, work-rate and willingness to play anywhere saw him become one of manager David Moyes' favourites. On 8 August 2006, Neville was announced as vice captain to David Weir, and – on Weir's departure to Rangers in January 2007 – he became the club captain. In the Manchester United–Everton match on 29 November 2006, Phil and his brother Gary became the first siblings to captain their respective clubs against each other in the Premier League.
Neville commented in the press about the first ever red cards of his long career (he never received any playing for Manchester United), claiming that he would perhaps not have been booked in a game against Fulham if he had been playing for United. However, he finished with more cards than any other Premier League player in 2005–06 (including another red soon after his first). Whilst at Manchester United, he was booked many times, such as in the 2002–03 season when he got far more cards than any other United player in history, despite only starting 5 competitive games. Additionally, in September 2003, Neville also received a warning from the FA regarding his future conduct for his behaviour after Manchester United's game against Arsenal. Neville scored his first goal for Everton in a 3–0 Premier League victory against Newcastle United on 30 December 2006.
On 30 March 2008, Neville was assaulted by a Liverpool fan as he took a throw-in during the 1–0 Merseyside derby Premier League defeat at Anfield. On 24 April, the fan, 48-year-old Michael Blackmore, was later banned from all matches in England and Wales for three years after admitting common assault. He was also banned from Anfield for life by Liverpool Football Club officials.
On 19 April 2009, Neville scored his penalty to help knock out his former club, Manchester United, in a penalty shoot-out in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. He sent the keeper the wrong way, putting it low to the keeper's right. On 19 February 2011, Neville scored the winning penalty in the penalty shoot-out against Chelsea to knock them out of the FA Cup, after a 1–1 draw at Stamford Bridge. On 9 April 2011, Neville scored against Wolves, his 12th senior goal and his first in three years. On 21 September, Neville scored in the League Cup game against West Bromwich Albion, this time a clinical effort, which was the deciding goal in the game. The goal was judged to be the Everton's goal of the season at the club's end of season awards.
On 9 April 2013, he announced that he would leave Everton at the end of the season when his contract ends. He subsequently announced his retirement from professional football.
Neville was regularly picked for England squads, making his debut against China on 23 May 1996. He played alongside his brother Gary in this match; they had appeared together in the 1996 FA Cup Final two weeks earlier and thus were the first pair of brothers to play together in an FA Cup-final winning side and for England in the same season since Hubert and Francis Heron in 1876, 120 years earlier.
He was only briefly a regular first-choice player for the side, as a left-back in 2000 under Kevin Keegan's management. He later struggled to make the squad with players such as Wayne Bridge being preferred as back-up to Ashley Cole. He, nonetheless, once briefly captained the side in a friendly match (a game in which England fielded four different captains). Despite having been in the England squad at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 European Championships, and having 59 England caps (23 as a substitute), Neville was never in an England World Cup squad.
Neville'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); he was one of the players omitted at the last minute by Glenn Hoddle when he was selecting his final 22 for the 1998 World Cup. Hoddle's decision left Neville in tears, though media attention was almost entirely devoted to the exclusion of another player, Paul Gascoigne. Neville revealed in an interview that Gascoigne, not usually noted for his maturity, took the younger Neville brother under his wing and consoled him.
Keegan played Neville at left-back in Euro 2000; Neville received criticism and a large proportion of blame for England's exit, when he committed a late foul on Viorel Moldovan, leading to a penalty for Romania, which Ionel Ganea scored to win the match.
Neither of the Nevilles went to the 2002 World Cup – Phil was left out, while Gary was injured. Both were back in the squad for Euro 2004. The brothers played together for England for the first time in seven years in a friendly against Spain on 7 February 2007, which England lost 1–0. They hold the record number of England appearances by a pair of brothers (142) and the most starts in the same England team by two brothers (31).
Phil was not included in Sven-Göran Eriksson's squad for the 2006 World Cup as Eriksson wanted to give young players a chance. However, he was drafted into Eriksson's stand-by group of players after Nigel Reo-Coker withdrew through injury. Neville remained in the England squad with new England manager Steve McClaren and started at right-back against Andorra. He was not called up after 2007.
Neville holds a UEFA B Licence. In February 2012, it was reported that Neville would help England's Under-21s coaching staff in the absence of Stuart Pearce in the Under-21 European Championship qualifier against Belgium. The Everton captain received a special dispensation to help Brian Eastwick prepare the side for the game at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough as Pearce would be in charge of the senior team in the friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley. England defeated Belgium 4–0. Continuing his work with the England under-21 side, in March 2013 it was announced that Neville would join the coaching staff of the England under-21s for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.
Neville has suggested he would like to enter into management when his playing career comes to an end. He had previously sought advice from José Mourinho.
In February 2013, it was reported that Neville was being considered for the England U20 managerial position for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. In May 2013, Neville was interviewed by Bill Kenwright for the vacant manager's role at Everton, but the job went to Roberto Martínez. On 4 July 2013, Neville became first-team coach of Manchester United, where he would be reunited with manager David Moyes. It was announced on the same day Moyes named Ryan Giggs as player/coach.
In 2014, it was announced that Neville, along with fellow Manchester United players Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and Nicky Butt had agreed a deal to purchase Salford City ahead of the 2014-15 season. with plans to get the club to the Football League. The group announced they would take part in a special friendly, with Salford facing a Class of '92 team. On 22 September, the group agreed to sell a 50% stake in the club to billionaire Peter Lim. Neville and Scholes briefly took charge of Salford City in a 2-1 home win over Kendal Town, following the sacking of Phil Power.
Neville joined La Liga side Valencia, also owned by Lim, as a coach under manager Nuno in July 2015. On 30 November, after the resignation of Nuno, Neville was named as assistant to interim coach Voro, before his brother took the managerial position two days later.
He regularly appears as a pundit on football radio commentaries, and has appeared as pundit on the BBC's Match of the Day programme. In November 2010, he became a top-trending Twitter term after a strong performance against Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale led to a tongue-in-cheek "Chuck Norris"-style internet phenomenon.
Neville was employed by BBC One as a commentator and pundit during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. His commentary of the England–Italy match on 14 June attracted 445 complaints for his "lack of emotion and 'monotone style'". He reflected on this in an online article by stating "I played it back the next day and it did not sound like it was me commentating. I was trying to be somebody I wasn't, and I knew I could do better than that".
The BBC received further complaints for Neville's comments in January 2015, after Arsenal's Tomáš Rosický played a pass while looking in another direction; Neville said that if he were playing against a player doing that in training, he would deliberately injure that player. He admitted making an unacceptable comment, while the BBC stated that the tone of discussion was light-hearted enough to suggest Neville was not endorsing violence.
After departing from Valencia in 2016 he joined Sky Sports as a pundit for their coverage of the Premier League along with his brother Gary, who rejoined.As of match played 9 March 2013.
FA Premier League (6): 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03
FA Cup (3): 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04
FA Community Shield (3): 1996, 1997, 2003
UEFA Champions League (1): 1998–99
Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999
Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year (1): 1993–94
Neville attended Elton High School with his siblings. While in school, he captained his school football team throughout the whole five years he was there. Neville was also a talented cricketer in his youth, and a contemporary of England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff in Lancashire's Under-19 side, captaining England Under-15s. Neville holds the record for being the youngest player to play for Lancashire's second XI at age 15.
His mother Jill used to play netball in the local leagues, and is General Manager and Club Secretary for English Football League club Bury.
Neville is married to Julie (née Killilea); the couple have a son, Harvey, and a daughter, Isabella. Isabella has cerebral palsy, which has led to Neville becoming an ambassador of Bliss, the special care baby charity, and a patron of Royal Manchester Children's Hospital's New Children's Hospital Appeal.
He made the property headlines in April 2008, when he struggled to sell his £4 million mansion in Lancashire. In May 2009, he accepted a £2.6 million cash offer for the house from local businessman Matthew Greensmith.
Neville became vegetarian in 2014, after a challenge from his wife to try the diet for two weeks. He said in a PETA video that "I started to feel healthier, leaner. I started to feel great."