Neil Heaney

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Neil Heaney
Personal information
Full name Neil Andrew Joseph Heaney
Date of birth (1971-11-03) 3 November 1971 (age 42)
Place of birth Middlesbrough, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Winger (Retired)
Youth career
1987–1989 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1994 Arsenal 8 (0)
1991 Hartlepool United (loan) 3 (0)
1992 Cambridge United (loan) 13 (2)
1994–1996 Southampton 61 (5)
1996–1999 Manchester City 18 (1)
1998 Charlton Athletic (loan) 6 (0)
1999 Bristol City (loan) 3 (0)
1999–2000 Darlington 36 (5)
2000–2001 Dundee United 12 (0)
2001–2002 Plymouth Argyle 8 (0)
Total 168 (13)
National team
1992 England under-21 6 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Neil Heaney (born 3 November 1971 in Middlesbrough) is an English former footballer who played as a winger for a number of British clubs.

Career[edit]

Heaney started out playing on his native Teesside before being signed by London club Arsenal on schoolboy forms in January 1987. He was part of the side that won the FA Youth Cup in 1987–88 and turned professional in 1989. After spells on loan at Hartlepool United and Cambridge United, he made his Arsenal début as a substitute against Sheffield United on 18 April 1992. A winger with considerable pace, he was on the fringes of the Arsenal first team over the next two seasons, before being suddenly sold by George Graham to Southampton for £300,000 in March 1994. He made nine senior appearances for Arsenal in total, failing to score.

He became Alan Ball's third signing for the Saints (just before the transfer deadline) and scored his first goal against Newcastle United on 22 March 1995. Saints had failed to win a game since before Christmas and had dropped into 20th place, just above the relegation zone. Heaney came on as a substitute with Saints 1–0 down, and with four minutes left he prodded home a loose ball after a save by Pavel Srníček from Gordon Watson's header. Watson and Neil Shipperley completed the scoring to see Saints run out unlikely 3–1 winners. Saints then managed to climb up the table to finish in 10th place. According to Holley & Chalk, Heaney "had the ability and pace to turn matches, but could frustrate with a tendency to run up blind alleys."[1]

Heaney made 61 league appearances for Southampton in two and a half seasons (scoring five goals), before being sold for £500,000 to Frank Clark's Manchester City in November 1996. Heaney went on to start only sixteen matches during his two-and-a-half years with City, having a loan period at Charlton Athletic in 1997–98, being part of the side that won promotion to the Premier League, playing in their dramatic win over Sunderland in the play-off final, winning 7–6 on penalties after a 4–4 draw. He eventually left Maine Road in August 1999, dropping down a couple of divisions to join Darlington, before seeing out his career with spells at Dundee United[2] (where he was described by chairman Jim McLean as a "bad" signing)[3] and Plymouth Argyle.[4] He retired in December 2002 due to injury.[5]

After football[edit]

After retiring, Heaney left football and became CEO of Judicare, a full-service Spanish law firm and a UK legal-services company that recover monies invested into problematic property abroad, based partly on his own problems investing in Spanish property.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk (2003). In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology. pp. 523–524. ISBN 0-9534474-3-X. 
  2. ^ "Heaney moves north". BBC Sport. 25 July 2000. Retrieved 27 June 2008. 
  3. ^ McLean, Jim (26 April 2002). "My biggest mistake as chairman was not interfering enough". Daily Record. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Plymouth snap up Heaney". BBC Sport. 4 December 2001. Retrieved 27 June 2008. 
  5. ^ "Ex-Blues' News: Heaney Quits:". Manchester City Football Club Supporters' Homepage. 19 December 2002. Retrieved 27 June 2008. 
  6. ^ "Former footballer strikes a blow for overseas investors". The Independent. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 

External links[edit]