One of the most popular players in the Philippine soccer team, Neil Etheridge is an English-Filipino football player who plays for Fulham but has also played on loan with Leatherhead in non-league football. Etheridge also represents the Philippine national football team.
Etheridge was born in Enfield Town to an English father and a Filipina mother. He started playing the sport at the age of nine. The 21 year-old attended Chelsea Academy in 2003, where he met fellow Philippine team players James and Phil Younghusband. Etheridge played for the Chelsea football team, starting out as a forward and then switched to goalie, before moving to Fulham in 2006 and playing for the rival team.
In 2008, Etheridge played for Leatherhead on loan for the 2008-2009 season and played his first game with the team in a match against Metropolitan Police. After quickly recovering from surgery on both his knees, Etheridge signed a contract for one year with Fulham until summer 2010. He also joined Charlton Athletic on loan in March 2011 but was recalled six days later without playing for the team.
Although Etheridge had turned down earlier invitations to join the Philippine team, he later conceded after some encouragement by Phil Younghusband. He made his début with the Philippine team in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers, winning his first senior cap, although the team failed to qualify due to a goal difference with Tajikistan. He was then called up for the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup qualification matches, where he got his fourth clean sheet and the team defeated Timor Leste with a 1-0 score. Etheridge was also with the team when it competed in the 2010 AFF Suzuki cup matches and qualified for the semifinals for the first time before it was defeated by Indonesia in both legs.