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Chris Nicholl

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Place of birth  Wilmslow, England
Name  Chris Nicholl
1963–1965  Burnley
Role  Footballer

Years  Team
Height  1.85 m
1965–1966  Burnley
Playing position  Defender
Chris Nicholl Classic Moments Chris Nicholl Scores All Four Goals In
Full name  Christopher John Nicholl
Date of birth  (1946-10-12) 12 October 1946 (age 69)

Chris nicholl thunderbolt

Christopher John "Chris" Nicholl (born 12 October 1946) is an English-born former Northern Ireland international footballer who later worked as a coach and manager.


Chris Nicholl SOUTHAMPTON Chris Nicholl 261 PANINI Football 90

Big chris nicholl thunderbolt aston villa vs everton 1977 league cup final

Playing career

Nicholl was born in Macclesfield. He played for Burnley (1963–1966) (no league appearances), Witton Albion, Halifax Town (1968–1969) (42 league appearances, 3 goals) and Luton Town (1969–1972) (97 league appearances, 6 goals), before establishing himself as a centre-half with Aston Villa (1972–1977) (210 league appearances, 11 goals). He captained the side to victory over Everton in the 1976/1977 League Cup after two final replays. The second replay is remembered for Nicholl scoring one of the greatest goals in any Aston Villa match, a forty-yard left footer which helped take the match to extra time.

Chris Nicholl Aston Villa Club legend Chris Nicholl embarrassed by Villas home

In a Division One game against Leicester City in 1976, he scored all four goals (two of them own goals) in a 2–2 draw.

Chris Nicholl Chris Nicholl Irish FAs Greatest Ever Team

He signed for Southampton in June 1977 and became the backbone of a successful side. He scored eight goals in 228 league appearances, before joining Grimsby Town in August 1983, for whom he made 70 league appearances in three years.

Chris Nicholl Chris Nicholl won two League Cups but paid a high price I used to

He won 51 Northern Ireland full international caps.


After serving Grimsby Town as assistant manager, he returned to Southampton as the club's manager when Lawrie McMenemy resigned in June 1985. He kept the Saints in the First Division but despite having players of the calibre of Danny and Rod Wallace, Alan Shearer and Matthew Le Tissier in his squad, he tended to be too cautious. During his 6 seasons in charge, Saints were under-achievers and his best result was in 1989-90 with a finish in 7th place achieved largely thanks to 20 goals from Le Tissier and 18 from Rod Wallace, although they did reach the FA Cup semi-finals in 1986 and the same stage of the League Cup a year later. This was relatively good for a club of Southampton's size, and under Nicholl they finished higher in the league than a number of bigger clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Chelsea, but under McMenemy they had won the FA Cup in 1976, finished league runners-up in 1984 and then fifth in his final season.

In 1991, the Saints finished in 14th place and Nicholl was sacked in favour of Ian Branfoot. Thus ended a period of managerial stability, with only 3 managers in 36 years and started Southampton's managerial merry-go-round which saw them appoint 12 managers over the next 15 years, and at one stage started three successive seasons with a new manager in charge, although they did hold on to their top flight status until 2005.

Nicholl was responsible for bringing some of the clubs most successful players into the first team. These included: Matthew Le Tissier, who was one of the most prolific strikers in the English league during the 1990s; Alan Shearer, who was sold to Blackburn Rovers for a British record fee in 1992 and then to Newcastle United for a world record fee in 1996, as well as scoring 30 goals for England; Rod Wallace, who helped Leeds United win the league title a year after leaving Southampton in 1991, and later won several Scottish trophies with Rangers. He also signed teenage goalkeeper Tim Flowers from Wolves in 1986, and seven years later he became Britain's most expensive goalkeeper when he was sold to Blackburn Rovers, helping them win the league title in 1995.


It was three years before Nicholl returned to football. Early in the 1994–95 season he replaced Kenny Hibbitt as manager of Walsall FC and his first season at the club was successful as they were promoted from Division Three as runners-up. The Saddlers finished in the top half of Division Two during the next two seasons but Nicholl quit in May 1997 after failing to get Walsall into Division One, citing family reasons.

He made a brief return to Walsall as then-manager Ray Graydon's assistant in November 2001, but left in January 2002 through loyalty to Graydon, who had been sacked. He is now a regular at the Bescot Stadium, both as a supporter and as the correspondent for PA Sport.

Following the sacking of former Walsall player-manager Paul Merson in February 2006, Nicholl offered his services to the club within hours of Merson's departure. Nicholl remains popular amongst Walsall fans, but was not offered the manager's job - which later went to former Birmingham City captain Kevan Broadhurst.

Northern Ireland

In 1998, he was invited to work alongside Lawrie McMenemy as assistant manager of Northern Ireland where he spent the next two years.

Managerial statistics

As of 7 March 2015

Aston Villa Old Stars

Chris is currently the manager of Aston Villa Old Stars, who regularly play in testimonial and charity matches. The squad includes former Villa stars such as Gordon Cowans, Tony Morley and Des Bremner.

International goals

Scores and results list Northern Ireland's goal tally first.


Halifax Town
  • Fourth Division Runners up: 1969
  • Aston Villa
  • League Cup Winners: 1975, 1977
  • Third Division Champions: 1972
  • Southampton
  • League Cup Runners up: 1979
  • References

    Chris Nicholl Wikipedia