Gary Neville's net worth and close bond with his dad (2024)

Former Manchester United star-turned businessman Gary Neville is becoming a familiar face to fans of the BBC's Dragons' Den. He made his debut appearance on the show in January and returns tonight (February 29), with more entrepreneurs hoping to persuade the panel of business gurus to invest in their ideas.

The latest bunch of hopefuls include a dog lover with an innovative take on dog treats, an eco-conscious entrepreneur who wants to conquer the drinks industry, a tech business that helps families living with dementia manage their spending and a couple who want to bring sports recovery to the masses.

Ahead of his first show, Gary teased that fans would have to "wait and see" if he made any investments. Viewers saw him put in offers for three out of four business ideas pitched to the panel – two being accepted as joint ventures with other Dragons.

One investment was a personal cinema idea in the hope of turning the concept into affordable housing. Manchester-based entrepreneur Liam Browne also piqued his interest with his cocoa business, Full Power Cocoa, asking for £50,000 for a 5% share.

Read on to find out all about Gary's life and career.

Early life and determination to succeed

Gary was born in Bury on February 18, 1975 to parents Neville Neville and Jill Neville - meaning he's just celebrated his 49th birthday. His brother Phil played alongside him at Manchester United and sister Tracey is a retired international netball player.

He went to Elton High School in Bury and went straight into life as an apprentice for Manchester United. In a talk to Bury College students, he said one of the proudest moments of his life was being picked up from school by his dad and being told the good news.

He once said: "My dad actually drove to my school and told them: "I need to take him out of school,” and when he told me I kept thinking: "I can't believe it.” I'll always remember that moment."

And he told the students he believed the main reason he "made it", was his "attitude and passion", telling them: "I gave my all and left nothing to chance. Not putting everything you have into what you do is only damaging one person, and that’s you."

From fan to football player

Gary Neville's net worth and close bond with his dad (1)

Gary said playing for Manchester United was a "dream" from the age of four or five. For the first ten years of his career he revealed he couldn't sleep after a night game, such was the adrenaline rush.

And he was fully focused on football, telling the Stick to Football podcast: "When I left school at 16, I never spoke to my friends from school ever again. I look back at it now and it was terrible. I just thought that if I don’t put everything into football, then I’d regret it.

"I knew my school friends would be going out and having a good time, but I had to get out of this. My leaving do at school was at a pub surrounded by people drinking and doing all sorts and I had to get away. It was one of those things that I needed 100% focus – I never went out or anything for four years and Phil [Neville] was the same.”

He made his first team debut for Manchester United at home to Torpedo Moscow. It was a goalless draw - but things soon picked up. By the 1995-96 season he was a regular in the first team and was United’s captain from 2005 until his retirement in 2011.

During his football career, Gary picked up eight Premier League winners’ medals, two European Cups, three FA Cups, two League Cups, three Community Shields, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.

He made his England debut in 1995 for a friendly against Japan but recalls his England days with frustration. According to his official website, he described playing for England as "one long roller-coaster: some ups and downs, but also quite a few moments when you’re not really even sure if you’re enjoying the ride.

"It should be fantastic, the best moments of your life. But there is no doubt that too many players spend too much time fearing the consequence of failure when they pull on an England shirt."

As a youth player Gary said he earned £29.50 a week, plus £10 expenses - his net worth is now an estimated £19.6 million, according to The Mirror.

Post-retirement punditry and property

Gary Neville's net worth and close bond with his dad (2)

Gary is not a man to rest on his laurels and felt he had plenty more to achieve after football, saying: "I didn’t want to only be known as a former Man United player and I didn't want to think that my days of success, achieving things, were over."

He has had success in a number of different fields since retiring from football. He's a familiar face on TV with his work for Sky Sports as a pundit and also has a business portfolio spanning property, hospitality, education, media and sport.

Football fans will know he's also part owner of League Two side Salford City alongside former Class of 92 United teammates.

As of January 2024, he was listed as a director of 56 businesses on Companies House and is involved in media, hotels, pubs, restaurants, and education in a broad £100million business empire, according to the reports. He also has a big interest in property development, which started in his early 20s, building up a chain of hotels and townhouses.

His most high-profile projects are the Stock Exchange Hotel in London, in which he holds a 40 percent share, and Hotel Football overlooking Old Trafford. He also runs a residual image rights and sponsorship firm called Tiger Sports and co-owns Buzz 16 Productions which has produced programmes including The Overlap and Sky’s Class of 92: Full Time.

Alongside his wife, he co-owns Relentless Group, Michelin-star restaurant The Man Behind the Curtain as well as owning the Sir Ralph Abercromby pub in Manchester.

Becoming a Dragon

Gary Neville's net worth and close bond with his dad (3)

Speaking about joining Dragons' Den for a guest appearance in January, Gary said: "I am excited to join the Dragons, and to meet the entrepreneurs brave enough to face us in the Den. I hope my personal journey shows that you can take the experiences you've had in one part of your career and use them to do something entirely different and make it a success.

"Business is all about managing people and managing yourself and I'm looking forward to sharing my experience to help the entrepreneurs we'll meet in the den reach their potential."

He said he had watched the show "for like 18 (or) 19 years" and said he had made to feel "really welcome". However he admitted to some nerves, adding: "I feel like I’ve had an out of body experience."

He said it was a "privilege" to share his knowledge and guidance with the budding business hopefuls who braved the Den.

Surprise appearance at music festival

Gary has had post-football success across numerous fields but it may still have come as a surprise to some when music festival Kendal Calling announced he would take to the stage later this year. In confirming Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Paolo Nutini among the headline acts, organisers threw a curve ball in including Gary on its poster for the event from August 1-4.

He will share a DJ set with The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess at Lowther Deer Park in Cumbria as he continues to develop his interests outside of football.

Burgess told the BBC: “I’m very excited about the prospect of DJing with Gary – he’s got great taste in music. The last time we shared a stage was when he joined The Charlatans on guitar.

“I can’t promise we’ll be doing any songs together but there might be an impromptu singalong at some point."

Personal life

Gary Neville's net worth and close bond with his dad (4)

Gary is married to Emma Hadfield, a former shop assistant and holistic therapy student. They met in 2004 and married three years later.

The couple have two children together. Molly was born in January 2009 followed by Sophie in 2010.

Emma is a qualified counsellor and launched a new support network online to teach women about the menopause after she started going through the menopause early at just 41. Gary wrote online: "So proud of my wife Emma with the launch of her new community for women."

Loss of his father and their close bond

Gary's dad, Neville, died, at the age of 65, in 2015 while in Australia supporting his daughter Tracey, 45, as she coached England at the Netball World Cup.

Gary and Neville were extremely close, with Neville attending all of Gary's 602 games for Manchester United.

Speaking years after his death Gary said he still misses his dad so much that he sometimes still rings him by accident as he is top speed dial on his phone.

Speaking on the business podcast The Diary of a CEO in 2022, Gary said: “I don’t ring people. I don’t ring my brother Phil every day, I don’t text my sister every day, I don’t ring my mum every day – but I rang my dad every day, three or four times a day.

“He was the only constant in my life. I put his office next to our house because basically he looked after my stuff.

“I’ve still got him at the top of my favourites in my speed dials – I’ll never move him.

“I go to ring my mum and you press ‘Dad’ and it freaks me out and makes me well-up a little bit.”

The eight-time Premier League winner, added: “He was at every single one of my games. I waved at my dad 602 times. I couldn’t settle until I had found him.”

A mentor to young stars

Gary is keenly aware of the potential pitfalls facing young players signing big money deals - and his protective instincts don't stop at football. He met Harry Clark, winner of The Traitors series two, ahead of a TV appearance and offered him some sage advice.

He told the BBC's Jon Kay: "I've just met him (Harry) outside and my eldest daughter's been watching it so she was thrilled with that. I've just given him my phone number. I said there's no pressure, all you need is a lawyer. I'll put you in touch with a lawyer - I'll cover his fees for him - and make sure the management company you sign up with look after you and there is an exit from it.

"It scares me to death that, young football players going out meeting agents and they sign up to contracts that they can't get out of. They have money taken off them, they get exploited. I've seen it so many times. I was the the PFA union representative at United where young lads would come to me saying 'I need to get out of this contract'.

"I've given him my phone number and he can call and I'll hopefully point him in the right direction so that he looks after himself."

Gary Neville's net worth and close bond with his dad (2024)
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