Gary Neville on Dragons' Den with Deborah Meaden, Steven Bartlett and Peter Jones

‘£19m’ net worth; career lows; how he bagged Dragons’ Den role: Inside Gary Neville’s life as he appears on show

The former Manchester United footballer will be a guest Dragon

Gary Neville is a Bury-born footballer turned football pundit – and he has a new role on Dragons’ Den tonight.

On Thursday night’s show (January 18), Gary, 48, will become the first ever guest Dragon.

So, how did he secure that Dragons’ Den spot and what else do we know about Gary Neville?

Here’s all you need to know about the football star.

Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies, Deborah Meaden, Steven Bartlett, Gary Neville, Peter Jones on Dragons' Den
Gary will join Dragons’ Den tonight (Credit: BBC Studios/Simon Pantling)

Dragons’ Den: How did Gary Neville bag spot on show?

Speaking about joining Dragons’ Den as a guest, Gary said: “I’m absolutely delighted to join the Dragons’ Den, even if it’s only for a very short period on an interim contract. I’m used to being an interim coach. I’m going to bring character, personality, drive, determination, hard work, all the things you’d want in a team player.”

But how did he bag the role? Well, Gary has built up an impressive business portfolio that has landed him the spot.

He started out as a property developer whilst playing for Manchester United in his early twenties. He has since built an empire in the business world. His portfolio includes property, hospitality, education, media and sport.

Gary’s Stock Exchange Hotel is one of the top hotels in Manchester. His production company Buzz 16 has helped boost his YouTube channel The Overlap. Meanwhile, his St. Michael’s project is one of the landmark property developments in Manchester City Centre.

Gary Neville on Dragons' Den
Gary will bring his business expertise to the Den (Credit: BBC Studios/Simon Pantling)

Is Gary Neville married and does he have kids?

Gary Neville is indeed married to Emma Hadfield, 43.

They met in 2004 and became engaged in 2007 at their holiday home in Gozo, an island off Malta. The couple clearly couldn’t wait to say “I do” as they married the same year.

And it wasn’t long before they decided to start a family. They have two daughters Molly, 15, and Sophie, 13.

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A post shared by Gary Neville (@gneville2)

How many times was Gary capped for England?

Gary joined the England team in 1995 alongside brother Phil and played for his country 11 times. The brothers become the game’s most capped siblings, with 142 appearances between them.

In 2005, after Roy Keane’s departure, Gary also became captain of Manchester United. However, it seems he was destined to make a name for himself because Gary comes from a sporting family.

As well as brother Phil, Phil’s twin Tracey is a former England netball international.

His father Neville Neville was a British cricketing legend. He died in 2015.

And has he had any career lows?

In 2006, Neville was charged with improper conduct and fined £5,000 after running towards the losing side, Liverpool, to celebrate Rio Ferdinand’s 90th minute winning header.

Neville also became injured in a game against Bolton Wanderers in March 2007, but recovered for a comeback on April 9, 2008 against Roma at Old Trafford.

It was his 99th Champion’s League appearance. After a couple of quiet seasons, Neville stepped down as team captain in September 2010.

On February 2, 2011, Neville announced his retirement from football after almost 20 years playing for Manchester United.

Gary Neville smiling at film premiere
Gary has had a successful career in the football world (Credit Photo Brett D. Cove/

So what has been the highlight of Gary’s career?

There hasn’t just been one…

During his career he won eight premier league titles, three FA cups, two Champions Leagues, an Intercontinental Cup, a FIFA World Cup and two league cups.

In 2012 Neville joined the England team coaching staff alongside Ray Lewington and Dave Watson, signing a four-year contract with the FA.

Dragons’ Den star Gary Neville time as a Brit abroad

In 2015, Neville became head coach at Valencia working alongside brother Phil who had previously been the club’s caretaker manager.

Neville, who didn’t speak Spanish, didn’t become popular with the Valencia fans and he was sacked in March 2016.

Around the same time, Neville dabbled in club ownership partnering with fellow Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt to buy Salford City in 2014 with a view to getting the club into the football league.

The group sold 50% of the club to billionaire Peter Lim later that year.

So what does he get up to off the pitch?

In 2013, Neville launched a hospitality company – GG Hospitality – with a view to building football-themed hotels and cafes around the UK.

The first, Cafe Football, opened in Stratford, London in November 2013.

In 2015, Neville and Giggs got planning permission to redevelop the Northern Stock Exchange building into a non-football-themed boutique hotel.

Meanwhile, in 2011, Neville joined Sky Sports as a pundit. He is worth around £19 million, according to reports.

Dragons’ Den airs tonight (January 18) from 8pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor