Paul Nicholls

*Indicates unconfirmed information. Figures in brackets after English team names indicate all appearances made and goals scored in competitive matches for Football League clubs from 1888 onwards. For Scottish League clubs the figures show details of all competitive appearances and goals scored from 1946/47 onwards.

Paul Nicholls

Appearances: 8 Goals: 0
Clean Sheets: 1

Date / Year of birth: 12th October 1980

Position: Goalkeeper

Season of first appearance: 2009/10

Season of last appearance: 2009/10

Also played for: Chelsea (0), Havant & Waterlooville, Chelmsford City, Heybridge Swifts, Fisher Athletic, Rushden & Diamonds, Sutton United, Grays Athletic and Billericay Town

Agile extrovert keeper who started his career as a trainee at Chelsea where he played alongside future Chelsea and England captain John Terry. Paul was released at the end of the 1999/00 season.

On 19.7.00 he played in a friendly for Margate - a 3-2 home defeat against Croydon - but it was Paul's only outing and he ended up joining Southern League Premier Division club Havant & Waterlooville for the 2000/01 campaign proper.

Paul went on to make 105 appearances (one as sub) for the Hampshire club before leaving at the end of the 2001/02 season.

In the summer of 2002 he signed for Chelmsford and Paul became the club's regular penalty taker. On 2.8.03 he scored from the spot to give City a 1-0 win over Margate in a friendly played at Billericay and in all he scored 12 times in 134 outings for Chelmsford up to the end of the 2004/05 campaign. As well as 11 penalties Paul also scored once from open play.

He moved on to Heybridge for the 2005/06 season and Paul was ever-present in the Isthmian League Premier Division for them, making 42 appearances and scoring once with a penalty.

On 22.7.06 he played for Margate in a 5-2 friendly win over Fisher at Hartsdown Park and player-manager Robin Trott told the Thanet Times "I want to sign Nico and he wants to come here. I played with him at Heybridge and there's not a lot I don't know about him. That's why I want to get him down but there's not a bottomless pit. I can't go over the top with money - I'm here to look after the team and the club. I'm not being funny but if you have him in your team you're 1-0 up straightaway. I'm not knocking Charlie Mitten because he's a decent keeper. He's just been unfortunate in that he's had a couple of injuries." In the end Paul didn't join Margate and instead signed for Fisher.

He was a fixture in Fisher's Conference South side during 2006/07 and then in August 2007 Paul signed for Rushden & Diamonds.

He made 11 appearances in all competitions for the Conference club but towards the end of 2007 Paul lost his place and at the end of the 2007/08 campaign he was released.

Paul joined Sutton for 2008/09 and on 8.11.08 he was part of the side that lost 1-0 at home to Notts County in the FA Cup 1st Round. He made 55 appearances before leaving the club at the end of the season.

In the summer of 2009 Paul linked up with Grays and in July 2009 he played as they won 4-2 in a friendly at Margate. He started the 2009/10 campaign proper with the Essex club but towards the end of August Paul joined Margate on a non-contract basis.

He made his debut in a 3-0 win at Aveley in the Isthmian League Premier Division on 24.8.09, just over nine years after he'd first featured in a friendly for Margate. A few days later manager Terry Yorath told the Isle of Thanet Gazette "Nicholls showed his class the other night. We hope we can sign him, it's just a matter of agreeing money. Somebody told me the other day he's by far the best keeper in our league and if you want the best it's going to cost."

Paul then started each of the next seven games but never put pen to paper on a contract. The Isle of Thanet Gazette said he "was the only bright spark" and "as solid as you like" in a 1-0 defeat against Cray at Hartsdown Park on 31.8.09 and a few days later Terry Yorath told the Gazette "It's an ongoing thing with Nicholls. In his situation we've got to see what's best - it might be a month by month thing. He wants to play football and he knows we want him."

In its report on a 2-2 draw at Ashford (Middlesex) on 5.9.09 the Thanet Times praised Paul for "two or three excellent saves" and in particular picked out "a terrific reflex stop to put a Byron Harrison effort past the post". The Times described him as being a "class act" and in its report on a 2-2 draw with visitors Sutton in the FA Cup on 12.9.09 the paper said Paul made "an excellent reaction save" from a close-range header.

Half an hour into a game against Hendon at Wembley FC on 22.9.09 Paul suffered an ankle injury but played on despite obviously being in pain and the Isle of Thanet Gazette hailed his commitment. The paper headlined its report "Crocked Nico soldiers on for Margate" and praised Paul for a double save in the first half. Margate won the match 2-1 and it turned out to be Paul's last outing for the club. After his ankle injury initially ruled him out Paul drifted away from Margate and left having played eight times in all.

In December 2009 he signed for Billericay and on 16.2.10 Paul was in goal as they won 3-1 at Margate in the Premier Division. He made a total of 19 league appearances for Ricay before the end of the 2009/10 season but then left the club and retired aged 29.

Paul then concentrated on his work as a player's agent and his most famous client was his former Chelsea colleague John Terry.

Paul's older brother Kevin played over 300 professional games for clubs including Wigan, Luton and Leeds.









2009/10 (MFC)









     Margate finished in relegation position but were reprieved and remained in the Isthmian League Premier Division.