Christopher John "Chris"
Nicholl (born 12 October 1946) is an English-born former
footballer and manager of
was born in Macclesfield.
He played for Witton Albion, Burnley
(1965-1968) (no league appearances),
, 3 goals) and
(1969-1972) (97 league
appearances, 6 goals), before establishing himself as a centre-half
with Aston Villa
league appearances, 11 goals). He captained the side to victory
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.
In a Division One game against Leicester City
in 1976, he scored all 4
goals in a 2-2 draw.
He signed for Southampton F.C.
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.
He won 51
Northern Ireland full international caps
He returned to Southampton as the club's manager when Lawrie McMenemy
resigned in August 1985. He
kept the Saints in the First Division but despite having players of
the calibre of Danny
, 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.
Nicholl did achieve a modicum of cup success with Saints losing 2-0
(after extra-time) in the semi-final of the FA
on 5 April 1986
and again to Liverpool in the semi-final of the League Cup
the following season.
The following season Saints finished in 14th place and Nicholl was
sacked in May 1991 and replaced by Ian
. 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
It was three years before Nicholl returned to football. Early in
the 1994-95 season he replaced Kenny
as manager of Walsall FC
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
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
is now a regular at the Bescot Stadium, both as a supporter and as the correspondent for
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
In 1998, he was invited to work alongside Lawrie McMenemy
as assistant manager of
where he spent the next two years.
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
, Tony Morley
and Des Bremner