Charlie Nicholas

Read all the news about Celtic hero Charlie Nicholas. Charlie Nicholas was born in Glasgow on 30 December 1961 (age 57).

Nicholas began his career as a youth with the Celtic Boys Club, before signing for Celtic in 1979. He made his first team debut at 17 years of age on 14 August 1979 in a Glasgow Cup tie against Queens Park, scoring Celtic’s second goal in a 3–1 win. Aside from his goal, the youngster displayed alertness and confidence. He made his second appearance in the next round of the same competition on 22 August, opening the scoring in a 3–0 win over Clyde and providing the assist for Bobby Lennox to score Celtic’s third goal. Nicholas returned to playing for the reserves again for the rest of the season. His next first team outing was in July 1980 in a Drybrough Cup tie against Ayr United. Celtic lost 1–0 in a poor showing, although Nicholas continued to impress with his quick and busy play.

His first appearance for Celtic in a major competition came on 16 August 1980 when he replaced the injured Frank McGarvey during the second half of Celtic’s 3–0 win away against Kilmarnock in the league. Nicholas began to feature regularly for Celtic, and on 30 August scored his first goals in major competition when he netted twice during a 6–1 win over Stirling Albion in the Scottish League Cup. Playing up front alongside one of either Frank McGarvey or George McCluskey, he went on to score 20 goals in 23 games up to the end of December 1980. He continued to score regularly after the turn of the year, including two goals against Rangers in February 1981 as Celtic came from behind to win 3–1 and go top of the league. Manager Billy McNeill praised Nicholas, stating “It’s a wonderful thing for a youngster to score twice in one of those [ Old Firm ] games”, adding that “The world is going to hear a lot more about Charlie [Nicholas]”. He finished the season with a total of 28 goals, the last of which he scored in a 1–0 win over Rangers in April 1981, as Celtic clinched the Scottish Premier League title.

The following season saw Nicholas play less regularly, having lost his place in the side to McCluskey. Worse, he suffered a broken leg in a friendly match against Morton in January 1982 and missed the rest of the season.

Nicholas returned to the team for the start of season 1982–83 in August 1982, playing in all six matches of the group stages of the 1982–83 Scottish League Cup, scoring seven goals as Celtic qualified with ease, including a four-goal haul in a 7–1 rout of Dunfermline. Celtic, and Nicholas, continued their goalscoring form into the league campaign, and by mid September Nicholas had amassed a total of 16 goals. Celtic faced Ajax in the first round of the European Cup in September 1982. Nicholas scored a penalty in the first leg at Parkhead, which finished 2–2 on the night. Celtic went into the second leg as underdogs, but an outstanding goal by Nicholas put Celtic ahead in Amsterdam. In a move also involving Paul McStay and Frank McGarvey, Nicholas received the ball from McGarvey and ran into the Ajax penalty box. He evaded two tackles from Ajax defenders before curling an excellently placed left-foot finish past goalkeeper Piet Schrijvers. Ajax later scored themselves, but a last minute winner from George McCluskey saw Celtic progress 3–2 on aggregate. Nicholas later said of his goal, “That was probably my all-time favourite goal. My greatest game.”

Nicholas was now being described as the most outstanding young player to emerge in Scotland since Kenny Dalglish. He displayed an excellent touch and great vision on the ball and possessed a strong shot with both feet. The only asset he lacked was a turn of pace, although his other attributes covered for that. His partnership up front with Frank McGarvey helped Nicholas become the leading goalscorer in Scotland and one of the best strikers in the British game. On 4 December 1982, he opened the scoring for Celtic in their 2–1 win over Rangers in the 1982 Scottish League Cup Final. After New Year, Nicholas became the centre of intense media speculation linking him with a move to England; with television, radio and newspapers journalists travelling north to cover Nicholas’ goalscoring exploits. The Celtic star was featured regularly on the Saturday lunch-time television show Saint and Greavsie which showed Nicholas’ latest goals. Despite his prolific goalscoring, the uncertainty over his future at Celtic appeared to unsettle the team towards the end of the season and they ended up losing the league to Dundee United. In the final league match of the season, Nicholas scored twice from penalty kicks as Celtic recovered from a 2–0 deficit at half-time against Rangers to win 4–2. At the end of the game he ran behind the goal to wave what appeared to be his “goodbyes” to the Celtic fans.

He finished the season with 48 goals and won both the Scottish PFA Player of the Year and Scottish Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards. The weeks that followed the end of the season saw Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal all being strongly linked with signing Nicholas. Liverpool’s Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness, whom Nicholas knew from being with in the Scotland international squad, made strenuous efforts to persuade Nicholas to come to Anfield. Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan were also interested in signing the Celtic player.

In summer 1990, Nicholas returned to Celtic. However, His comeback season at Parkhead was something of a disappointment as he played just 14 games and scored six goals in the league. The arrival of new manager Liam Brady at Celtic in 1992 saw an improvement in fortune for Nicholas, and he went on to score 21 league goals during season 1991–92. In March 1992 he scored two outstanding goals in consecutive weeks. On 21 March he opened the scoring at Ibrox in a 2–0 win over Rangers; taking a long ball from a Chris Morris free kick, he volleyed home a powerful shot with great technique past goalkeeper Andy Goram. A week later on 28 March, he ran across the Dundee United defence 25 yards out and suddenly chipped the ball past an unsuspecting Alan Main who never had a chance to move. Despite his goalscoring, Celtic again failed to win any silverware. He lost his place in the team halfway through 1992–93 as Celtic bought Frank McAvennie, but regained his place the following season as McAvennie fell out of favour and was eventually discarded. However, his final season at the club was a disappointment as he played in 12 out of 36 league games and failed to score a single goal. He was left out of the 1995 Scottish Cup final against Airdrie and so Celtic released him and he moved on for the last time.

External links

Charlie Nicholas in the news

Read all the latest Celtic FC news mentioning Charlie Nicholas.

Charlie Nicholas Compares This Celtic Striker With Rangers Ace: Who Has The Edge?

Alfredo Morelos might be making all the noise in the Premiership right now because of his recent performances in Europe.

Video: Hilarious Charlie Nicholas Sky Sports Fail

CHARLIE NICHOLAS is known for his hilarious opinions on Celtic most of the time but when it comes to actually telling jokes, maybe he should leave it to the professionals.

Sky Sports Man Makes £50m Celtic Transfer Claim

Charlie Nicholas has rubbished the latest Ibrox chat saying Alfredo Morelos is worth £40m after outgoing Dave King said they wouldn’t take that amount in January for him.

67HailHail · Nov 26

‘Tough one’ – Former hero tips Celtic to squeeze past Rennes

Former Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas has given his prediction for the Hoops’ upcoming Europa League match against Rennes on Thursday.

67HailHail · Nov 26
67HailHail · Nov 26

Highly-criticised pundit makes bold Celtic suggestion for Thursday

Former Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas has stated that he believes that Leigh Griffiths should start over Odsonne Edouard against Rennes.

67HailHail · Nov 26
Read Celtic · Nov 26

“Took them long enough” – Pundit makes needless dig at Celtic following Lazio win

Despite actually tipping Celtic to win a game of football, Charlie Nicholas made a needless and surprising dig at the Hoops when discussing this week’s clash with Rennes...

Read Celtic · Nov 26
Celts Are Here · Nov 26

Should be Worried by Sky Sports Pundit’s Latest Prediction?

Usually when we’re talking about Charlie Nicholas we’re defending the club or team against a small minded opinion the former Celtic player holds since packing up for England.

Celts Are Here · Nov 26
67HailHail · Nov 13

Loudmouth Hoops pundit responds to pop star over Celtic prediction

Former Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas has responded to Rod Stewart over another wrong Hoops prediction.

67HailHail · Nov 13
The Celtic Blog · Nov 12

Charlie Nicholas Admits He Got Celtic Call Wrong, Whilst Provan Doubles Down On Idiocy.

I don’t mind giving Charlie Nicholas some credit today for suggesting that he got it wrong in midweek when he wrote off Celtic before a ball was kicked.

The Celtic Blog · Nov 12
Celts Are Here · Nov 12

Charlie Nicholas in ‘I got it wrong’ Celtic Admission

CHARLIE NICHOLAS has come out and admitted he got it badly wrong when he predicted Celtic to lose to Lazio in the Stadio Olimpico.

Celts Are Here · Nov 12

Another Sky Sports Celtic Fail as Pundit Doesn’t Learn Lesson

CELTIC have yet to be beaten in the Europa League but tell that to our former player Charlie Nicholas who likes to tip us to lose a lot.

‘I’m feeling a bit awkward’ – Nicholas makes prediction ahead of ‘fortunate’ Celtic’s EL tie

Former Celt Charlie Nicholas has claimed that the Parkhead side were ‘fortunate’ to beat Lazio 2-1 last time the two sides met in Glasgow in his predictions column for Sky Sports...

‘This clown again’ – These Celtic fans slam pundit after Europa League prediction

Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas isn’t confident that his old club Celtic will be able to return from Rome with a result against Lazio despite securing a 2-1 victory in Glasgow...

Soccerlens · Nov 7

Nicholas predicts the outcome of Celtic and Rangers Europa League games

originally posted on Glasgow Rangers will face Porto in a crucial Europa League clash at Ibrox, while Celtic will travel to Italy to face Lazio on Thursday.

Soccerlens · Nov 7
Read Celtic · Nov 6

Pundit downplays Celtic’s Lazio victory as ‘lucky’ before making prediction for Thursday

Charlie Nicholas is back at it again with his recent suggestion that Celtic were “fortunate” to beat Lazio at Parkhead last month, before making his prediction for Thursday’s clash...

Read Celtic · Nov 6
Evening Times · Nov 6

Charlie Nicholas tips Lazio to beat Celtic after ‘lucky’ first clash and makes Rangers vs Porto prediction

Former Celtic star Charlie Nicholas reckons the Hoops were lucky beat Lazio in their last Europa League outing – and has tipped the Serie A giants for revenge tomorrow...

Evening Times · Nov 6
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