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.

67HailHail · Apr 25

“I had a cry myself” The moment that got too much for Celtic manager Neil Lennon

There weren’t many Billy McNeill stories that pulled at the heartstrings more than Charlie Nicholas’ on Sky.

67HailHail · Apr 25

Emotional Charlie Nicholas leads tributes to Billy McNeill

A tearful Charlie Nicholas recalled Billy McNeill’s thoughtfulness as the former Celtic striker paid tribute to his ex-manager...

Sports Mole · Apr 23

Charlie Nicholas in tears as he pays tribute to Billy McNeill

Celtic’s European Cup-winning captain, who later managed the club, has died aged 79...

Sports Mole · Apr 23
The Celtic Star · Apr 22

‘With supporters like these how can you fail to become Champions,’ Jim McLean on the Celtic support

CELTIC had done the hard bit at the weekend when a Charlie Nicholas goal in front of 15,000 Hoops Supporters at Ibrox gave Celtic a 1-0...

The Celtic Star · Apr 22
67HailHail · Apr 17

Charlie Nicholas delivers verdict on Celtic player of the year battle

Former Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas has delivered his verdict on who should be named as Scotland’s player of the year.

67HailHail · Apr 17
67HailHail · Apr 10

Former Celt: Celtic shouldn’t appoint Neil Lennon

Former Celtic star Charlie Nicholas has claimed that the club needs to go for a fresh approach over Neil Lennon.

67HailHail · Apr 10
Talking Baws · Apr 23

Video: Charlie Nicholas Breaks Down in Tears on Sky Remembering Billy McNeill

Former Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas broke down in tears whilst remembering Billy McNeill during an segment on Sky Sports News today...

Talking Baws · Apr 23
Celts Are Here · Apr 10

Big Mouth Charlie Doesn’t Want Lennon, Martinez Not Realistic Either

Infamous at this stage for the controversial and downright daft, Charlie Nicholas is staying true to form by sticking his grubby little view on who should be the next Celtic manager or rather who should NOT be the next Celtic manager...

Celts Are Here · Apr 10

‘I’d be astonished’ – Charlie Nicholas reacts to Celtic manager developments

Charlie Nicholas has claimed he would be “astonished” if Celtic appoint Roberto Martinez as their new manager.

Soccerlens · Apr 2

Popular pundit makes a bold claim about £9m Celtic man, gives his verdict on Rangers star

originally posted on Sportslens.com Glasgow Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos was sent off in the O** F*** derby clash while Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard scored as the Ibrox club lost 2-1 on Sunday in the Scottish Premiership.

Soccerlens · Apr 2

‘I’m Jealous of Scott Brown’ – The Truth Finally Comes out

It has been a long time coming but Charlie Nicholas admitted something we probably already knew but it was nice to get some verification – he is jealous of the Celtic captain...

Celts Are Here · Mar 30

Sky Sports Pundit in Unlikely Celtic Prediction

CHARLIE NICHOLAS has shocked us and done something he doesn’t tend to do very often and back Celtic this weekend against The Rangers and even had a go at the Ibrox club for their celebrations at full time...

Celts Are Here · Mar 30

Charlie Nicholas, Celtic’s lost legend – ‘Oh, why did you go, Charlie?’ asks David Potter

WITH the shock of the Rodgers departure from Celtic still raw, David Potter in an earlier article on The Celtic Star looked back on the previous departure for England that hurt the Celtic support just as much as Rodgers.

The Celtic Star · Apr 25

‘I saw Charlie Nicholas in tears on TV and I had a cry myself,’ Neil Lennon

NEIL LENNON has been speaking to the media at Lennoxtown this afternoon, his first press conference since the news broke early on Tuesday morning that we had lost club icon Billy McNeill the previous evening...

The Celtic Star · Apr 25

Video Proof Former Celt Charlie Nicholas Hasn’t Got a Clue

CHARLIE NICHOLAS looks like a right idiot after saying he would ‘applaud’ Sergio Ramos for taking an 89th minute booking against Ajax in the Amsterdam Arena...

Sky Sports · Mar 29

‘Revenge in the air for Celtic’

Revenge is in the air for Celtic ahead of their O** F*** derby clash with Rangers, according to Charlie Nicholas...

Sky Sports · Mar 29
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