Steve Neville, who originally joined Exeter City from Southampton, made over 300 league appearances for the club in three spells scoring 88 times in the process. Leaving first for Sheffield United, Steve returned to St James’ Park for three seasons before moving to Bristol City. Back for a third spell with the Grecians, Steve played an important part in City’s 1990 Division Four championship success. He later moved to Australia where he carried on in coaching and management until well into his sixties.
Steve joined Southampton as an apprentice in 1974 and became a full professional in September 1975 ahead of featuring in five league games for the Saints scoring one goal. Transferred to Exeter in September 1978 for a fee of £15,000 Steve made his debut in the defeat at Swansea on 14 October 1978.
Steve hardly missed a game for City during the rest of the 1978/79 season (when he scored nine league goals) or in 1979/80 when he notched another eight goals. Then in October 1980, having scored 22 times from 93 league outings, he moved to Sheffield United in a £80,000 deal.
Almost exactly two years later, after half-a-dozen strikes in around fifty league appearances for the Bramall Lane club, he was back at St James Park initially on loan before £10,000 was exchanged for his services. Scoring 17 times in the league during the remainder of 1982/83, Steve finished as top-scorer and added nine more the following season. Scoring just once in the opening months of 1984/85 Steve subsequently moved up the M5 to Bristol City in November 1984 for £12,000 plus Trevor Morgan. This time around Steve’s Exeter City tally had amounted to 27 strikes from 92 league appearances.
With 40 goals from 134 league outings Steve enjoyed a productive spell at Ashton Gate before, with his 31st birthday on the horizon, he signed for Exeter City for a third time in July 1988. Slotting straight back into the picture Steve scored on 14 occasions during his first campaign and, having been made assistant manager in 1989, made a repeat contribution by netting a further 14 times - from 42 games - as City won the Fourth Division title in 1989/90. Finishing as second-highest goalscorer behind Darran Rowbotham, Steve’s enduring skill and speed still made him a fan’s favourite and - even at a relatively late stage of his career - he constantly shone in a memorable season for the club.
Eventually taking his return to 39 goals from 120 league appearances from his third and most productive spell for the Grecians, Steve enjoyed a testimonial match in May 1991 against Manchester City before moving to Hong Kong to play for South China. By now he had scored 88 times in his 305 league games for the club.
Steve moved on again to Australia in 1998 where he joined former Grecians teammate Trevor Morgan at Sorrento FC in Perth. After a long involvement as coach and manager with the club Steve announced his intention to retire in 2021 only to step into Trevor Morgan’s shoes as interim head coach two years later.
Steve’s son Scott - born in Exeter in 1989 - became a top-flight player in Australia and appeared for the national under-23 team in Olympic qualifiers.