Neil was born in Oshawa on October 3rd, 1927. His family moved to Whitby where Neil attended elementary school and high school. In June 1944, he enrolled in the first journalism class at the University of Western Ontario and graduated in June of 1948. His first employment after graduation was in the sports department at the London Free Press from June 1948 to March 1949 when he was hired by the editorial department of the Toronto Star.
Shortly thereafter, Neil moved to the sports department to replace the departing Annis Stukus. From April 1949 until his retirement in October 1992, Neil’s primary focus was baseball, and was recognized as the premier baseball writer in Toronto during this period. Fittingly, his last assignment was that of covering the 1992 World Series Championship for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Neil began covering the World Series in 1953, which in turn provided several memorable moments, including: the Brooklin Dodgers first pennant in 1955, Don Larson's perfect game in 1956, and Bill Mazerowski's series-winning walk-off home run for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960.
During the baseball off-seasons, Neil covered curling, including 19 consecutive Briars. He also campaigned to have these games shortened from 12 to 10 ends, and for the players to have their names sewn on the backs on their sweaters, both of which eventually came to pass.