Played For Both: Neil Sorvel

Over the years there have been numerous players who have turned out for the Silkmen and the Railwaymen, the most illustrious of which is midfield general Neil Sorvel who was an integral part of both sides successes during the 1990s.

Neil began his career at Gresty Road and was a product of their infamous youth system. He worked his way through the ranks until Dario Gradi released him back in 1992.

At which point, Peter Wragg caught wind of the fact that a young and tenacious midfielder had become available, at a time when Macc were struggling to avoid relegation from the Vauxhall Conference.

Wraggy duly signed Sorvel up, and he became an instant hit with the Moss Rose faithful as safety was secured with an epic last day victory over Champions Wycombe Wanderers.

Peter was replaced by Sammy McIlroy in the summer of 1993, and the ex Manchester United midfielder was eager to retain the services of a player which no doubted reminded him of his own younger years.

 

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Neil Sorvel (far right) returns to the Moss Rose for a recent Legends match (Pic courtesy of Macc Express).

 

“The Turk” as he was nicknamed, went on to become an almost ever present in the Silkmen side for the next six years and together with Steve Wood formed a majestic partnership in the centre of midfield which was the envy of all our rivals.

Neil won the Conference League Cup with Macc in 1994 before lifting the Conference Championship the following season – however promotion was not secured due to archaic ground regulations which prevented our deserved rise to the Football League.

The following season, Macc won the FA Umbro Trophy at Wembley Stadium by beating Cheshire rivals Northwich Victoria 3 – 1, adding another medal to the  midfielder’s glittering collection.

Sorvel had helped the Silkmen secure a place at Wembley by scoring a vital goal at Chorley during the semi-final second leg as the home side pressed to keep their own dreams alive.

Back to back promotions were then secured as Macc ascended to the dizzy heights of League One alongside the likes of Manchester City and Stoke.

However, Sorvel would leave the Moss Rose following relegation from the division in 1999 to rejoin his boyhood club, Crewe Alexandra.

Here he would command a regular first team place for six years as the Railwaymen enjoyed a period of success which would see them promoted to the Championship.

Neil made 250 league appearances for our Cheshire neighbours, scoring thirteen times during a golden era for the Alex.

Widely regarded as a club legend at Gresty Road, Sorv left the club in 2005 to join Shrewsbury Town.

Spells at Morecambe, Droylsden and Northwich followed before Neil finally hung up his boots after notching up over 750 league appearances.

Keen to stay within the game, Sorvel was appointed Assistant Manager at Nantwich Town who reached the FA Trophy semi-finals in 2016, before agreeing to take up the same role at Evo-Stick League side Altrincham this summer.

 

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