Paul Vanes writes:
Born 12/03/1975 Died 16/01/2117
Neale joined Leamington FC in the summer of 2001 from Kenilworth Wardens and he made his debut as a substitute against Handsaker on August 25th which Brakes won 5-0. Two days later he was given his full debut also at home to Holly Lane ’92 and it was another victory. Neale had six minutes against Loughborough Athletic that ended in a 2-2 draw.
He had a cameo role at Wilmcote Sports and Social that saw Leamington winning 4-1, another start was against Polesworth North Warwick as Brakes collected the points then he came on against Northfield Town in a 1-1 draw on September 15th.
Neale also had a 2 minute slot at home to Mile Oak Rovers in yet another Leamington victory and also came on in extra time in the President’s cup second round tie at home to Knowle culminating in a 2-1 win. That was followed by 15 minutes in the Coventry Telegraph cup first round game against Bedworth United Reserves and a 7-2 victory.
Neale played the whole game versus Kenilworth Town, the result was a 3-1 win at Gypsy Lane then in the Birmingham County FA Vase at Polesworth he was given 10 minutes to help consolidate a 3-2 success then on 23th November, Neale replaced Brian Agar after 80 minutes when the skipper went off injured as Brakes lost 3-2 at Brooklands Jaguar in the Telegraph cup.
Now to the match that most will remember, the trip to Holly Lane on December 1st the co-managers had no hesitation with Brian Agar still injured and Josh Blake out of the country in selecting as the strike partnership, Neale alongside Barry Shearsby. The result was an 8-1 thrashing with the goals coming from Glen Webb, Kevin Ariss got a brace as did Shearsby and Neale took home the match ball by netting a hat trick.
Neale scored another goal in the 5-3 win against Thimblemill REC in the President’s cup third round and a week later Brakes lost at home to Ounsdale 2-3 in the Birmingham Vase and those who were there will remember the last 15 minutes being played in total darkness much to the disgust of most of the 345 crowd. Neale played for 65 minutes that afternoon.
Neale made three more substitute appearances against Burntwood Town, Feckenham and Mile Oak Rovers for a total of 13 minutes. Neale later played for Southam United and Racing Club Warwick. He died in Myton Hospice last Monday just 41 years and ten months old, what a tragic loss at such an early age.
Sincere condolences to Neale’s Family, relatives and close friends from all at Leamington Football Club.
Neale is being laid to rest this Saturday at 2pm.
There will be a minute’s applause before the start of this Saturday’s match against Slough in Neales honour.