Neil Andrew Mellor (born 4 November 1982 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire) is an English retired professional footballer who began his career at Liverpool in the Premier League and most recently played for Preston North End. He made his name in 2004 by scoring a stunning last-minute goal from long range to give Liverpool a 2–1 victory over Arsenal at Anfield. Neil also scored a vital goal and set up another during Liverpool's match with Olympiacos at Anfield during the group stage of the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League, which Liverpool went on to win.
A strong, physical, centre forward, Neil was top scorer in Liverpool's run to the FA Youth Cup semi-final during the 2000–01 season scoring eight goals in four games. He was also the top scorer for the under-19 team and Joe Corrigan's reserves during the 2001–02 season and in total scored 46 goals (56 including friendlies). He progressed through the ranks at Liverpool and in the 2002–03 season he scored 20 goals for the reserve team. He made his first team debut in the same season and played a total of three games and scored in a Worthington Cup semi-final match against Sheffield United.
After becoming a fixture in first team squad, Netl burst into the starting team with some style. With Liverpool and Arsenal level at 1–1 with 90 minutes gone at Anfield in November 2004, he cracked in a sensational 30-yard volley to win the game for Liverpool. Things got better still for him ten days later when Liverpool were being held 1–1 by Olympiacos in a game they had to win by two clear goals to progress to the Champions League knock out stages. He was brought into the game to replace Milan Baroš and within two minutes, he scored with a typical goal poacher's finish. A deft cushioned header set up Steven Gerrard to rifle in the third Liverpool goal and seal Liverpool's place in the last 16. He scored his second and what proved to be his final league goal for Liverpool in December 2004 in the 3–1 win over Newcastle at Anfield.
In August 2006, Neil signed a three-year contract with Football League Championship club Preston North End for an undisclosed fee. He finally got his first goal for Preston in the 3–1 victory over Southampton in March 2007. Out of favour under the Paul Simpson managerial era, Neil had to prove himself over again to new P.N.E boss Alan Irvine. Under Irvine, he finally got going and scored nine goals under him after Christmas 2007. Neil again showed his panache for the 30-yard volley on 30 July 2008 by scoring in similar fashion for Preston North End in their friendly against Motherwell at Fir Park, which earned a 1–1 draw for Preston. During pre-season 2008–09 he scored eight goals.
On 2 July 2010, he rejoined former manager Alan Irvine at Football League One side Sheffield Wednesday on a season long loan. Neil played his first league game for The Owls on 7 August 2010 against Dagenham & Redbridge, coming on as a substitute in place of Clinton Morrison. He scored his first professional career hat-trick for Sheffield Wednesday on 10 November 2010 in a 4–1 win at Hillsborough over Hartlepool United in the Football League Trophy. He then repeated this feat just 10 days later in another 4–1 win, this time away against MK Dons in the league.
A knee injury sustained following a tackle by Milton Keynes striker Jabo Ibehre resulted in Neil being forced into announcing his retirement on 9 May 2012.
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