Neil is an ex-professional footballer. During his playing career, which spanned for 16 years, he played for Newcastle United, Everton, Oldham Athletic, Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End.

He was capped for England at Schoolboy, Youth and Under 21 level.

Neil was one of the first coaches to qualify as a UEFA Pro Licence Coach and also holds a Certificate in Applied Management.

He has coached at Preston North End, Bolton Wanderers, Crystal Palace, Lincoln City, Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers & and is currently Assistant Manager at West Ham United working with players from youth to international level.

Neil has also managed at Carlisle United, Ostersund (Sweden) and Blackburn Rovers (as caretaker manager)