Neville calls time on Everton career

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Phil Neville © Trinity Mirror

Phil Neville © Trinity Mirror

Everton FC captain Phil Neville has today confirmed that he will leave the club at the end of the current Premier League season.

Bury-born Neville signed with the blues from Manchester United in 2005 after making over 300 appearances for the club he joined with his brother Gary in 1994.

As of now, Neville has made over 300 appearances in all competitions for Everton, scoring eight goals, and on Boxing Day this season celebrated being one of only a handful of players to play 500 games in the Premier League.

In a statement on Everton’s website, Neville said: “It’s been an honour to play for and captain Everton Football Club. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time on Merseyside and will leave with immense pride.

“I would like to thank the Manager, Chairman, all of the staff and the players at Everton for their continued support during my time at the club. I’d also like to pay a special thanks to the fans, who have been amazing over the past eight years and Everton will always have a place in my heart.”

Neville, who won the Premier League six times while at United as well as the Champions League and three FA Cups, was first given the Everton skipper’s armband in 2007 and has kept it ever since. Often described as the consummate professional, he has found playing time limited in recent weeks, with some Everton fans questioning whether he could still perform at the top level after their shock 3-0 FA Cup defeat at home to Wigan.

However, tributes have been pouring in on Twitter using the hashtag #FarewellFizzer, due to Neville’s own Twitter name @Fizzer18, and fans have been remembering some of his key moments as Everton captain.

Although the 36-year-old will be part of the England under 21 coaching set up in the summer, having made over 50 appearances for England himself , it is thought that he wants to extend his playing career away from Goodison Park.

He said in his statement: “I want to continue to play at the top level as long as I physically can, and will be weighing up my options before making a decision on my next move.”

Speculation about who the next Everton captain might be has already started, with some saying England international defender Phil Jagielka is set to be the next skipper, having had the armband on more than a few occasions this season in Neville’s absense.

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