Neil Whitworth, who had moved from Wigan Athletic to Manchester United as a teenager, had also been at Kilmarnock and Hull City prior to joining Exeter City. In three seasons at St James Park he appeared around sixty times.
From South Lancashire, and growing up in a rugby league environment, Neil started his career as a Wigan Athletic trainee in 1988 turning professional the following year. After just two league games he moved to Manchester United for a fee of £45,000 in June 1990 and soon represented England at under-19 level. However Neil played just one first-team game whilst with the Old Trafford club (as a substitute at Southampton in March 1991) and - following loans to Preston North End, Barnsley, Rotherham United and Blackpool - was transferred to Kilmarnock as part of a £350,000 two-player package in September 1994.
After a solid start at Rugby Park, Neil suffered a debilitating bout of tuberculosis in 1997 and struggled to hold down a first-team place after his recovery. He briefly returned on loan to Wigan before joining Hull City ahead of the 1998/99. But, in two seasons at Boothferry Park, Neil only had 19 league outings and upon his release in 2000 agreed terms with Exeter City.
Neil’s first appearance for Exeter City came against Cardiff on 12 August 2000 as he went on to appear in 38 league and cup games during his first campaign with the club. Neil’s return then dropped to 16 games in all competitions during 2001/02 and just eight in 2002/03. His final first-team outing came against Rochdale in October 2002.
Released at the end of the season, Neil signed for Southport in August 2003 and later appeared for Radcliffe Borough (on loan) and Fleetwood Town ahead of retiring in 2006.
League 57; Cups 5 (62)