Chris Nicholl Chris Nicholl
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Chris Nicholl

The former Walsall manager has passed away.
Bescot Banter - Walsall FC NewsWe are deeply saddened to learn that former Walsall manager Chris Nicholl has died at the age of 77.

Christopher John Nicholl was born in Wilmslow on Saturday,12th October 1946, and, following a spell as an apprentice, began his career in the beautiful game with Burnley, turning pro in 1965.

After struggling to make the breakthrough to the Clarets' first team, Chris joined Witton Albion in 1966, before enjoying more successful spells with Halifax Town and Luton Town, making over 135 between the two sides.

His next move came in 1972 and saw him move to Aston Villa, where he would form part of the team that won the Football League Cup in 1975 and 1977, the latter of the two saw him don the captain's armband as he led his team to victory over Everton.

After five years and more than 200 appearances with Villa, Nicholl joined Southampton and became an integral part of the team that was promoted back to the top flight in his first season at the club.

Chris scored eight goals in 228 league appearances for the Saints before joining Grimsby Town in 1983, retiring just a year later.

After a spell as assistant manager at Grimsby, Chris took his first managerial role in 1985 as he returned to Southampton, a job he would retain until 1991.

After leaving the Saints for the second time, Chris ultimately joined the Saddlers as he replaced Kenny Hibbitt in 1994 and was able to guide the team to immediate success as they were promoted from Division Three as runners-up.

Taking the team to the top half of Division Two during the next two seasons Nicholl decided to leave the club in May 1997 but made a brief return to assist Ray Graydon in November 2001, but left in January 2002 after then-chairman Jeff Bonser shockingly sacked Graydon.
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