Peter Nicholas (footballer)

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Peter Nicholas
Personal information
Full name Peter Nicholas
Date of birth (1959-11-10) 10 November 1959 (age 59)
Place of birth Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Youth career
Crystal Palace
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1981 Crystal Palace 127 (7)
1981–1983 Arsenal 60 (1)
1983–1985 Crystal Palace 47 (7)
1985–1987 Luton Town 102 (1)
1987–1988 Aberdeen 39 (3)
1988–1991 Chelsea 80 (2)
1991–1993 Watford 40 (1)
Total 495 (22)
National team
1979–1992 Wales 73 (2[1])
Teams managed
2000–2001 Barry Town
2002–2004 Newport County
2005–2009 Llanelli
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Peter Nicholas (born 10 November 1959) is a Welsh former professional footballer and Wales international, now football manager.

He was capped 73 times at senior level for Wales between 1979 and 1991.


Crystal Palace[edit]

Nicholas was born in Maesglas, Newport, he joined his first professional club, Crystal Palace, in 1976 as a youth player. He spent five seasons at Selhurst Park, and played over 150 matches for the club, picking up the Second Division title in 1978–79. In the meantime he had made his debut for Wales, and would go on to win 73 caps for his country, scoring two goals. Originally a centre half, he was later moved into midfield and became known as a tough-tackling and uncompromising defensive midfielder.


However, despite his best efforts Crystal Palace could not sustain their place in the top flight and Nicholas was sold to Arsenal in March 1981 for £500,000, shortly before Palace's relegation back to the Second Division. At Arsenal, Nicholas went straight into the first team and didn't finish on a losing side for the rest of the 1980–81 season, he made 41 appearances the next season, and became captain of Wales as well. However, a series of injuries in the 1982–83 season meant his place in the Arsenal side became uncertain. In all, he played 80 matches for Arsenal, scoring three goals, his goals came in the league against Ipswich Town in April 1981[2] and he scored further goals in the League Cup; one against Norwich City in the 1981–82 season[3] and one against Manchester United in the semi final (first leg) of the 1982–83 League Cup.[4] He is also remembered for going in goal in an FA Cup tie against rivals Tottenham Hotspur in January 1982 after Pat Jennings was injured.[5]

Return to Crystal Palace[edit]

Looking for first team football, he returned to Palace on loan in August 1983 and at the end of that season the move was made permanent for £150,000. However, his second spell at Palace was not as successful, and he signed for Luton Town in 1985, he played over 100 games for the Hatters and his form noticeably improved.


He was signed by Aberdeen for £350,000 in 1987. In 1987–88, he reached the Scottish League Cup final, against Rangers; the match finished 3–3 and Nicholas missed a penalty in the ensuing shootout, which meant Aberdeen went home empty-handed.

Later career[edit]

He later had spells with Chelsea (winning another Second Division winners' medal), and Watford before retiring in 1993.

After retirement, he became Chelsea's youth coach, before moving to Brentford and then returning to his old club Crystal Palace to take the same role there,[6] he was later promoted to assistant manager at Palace, before being appointed manager of League of Wales side Barry Town,[7] where he won the title in 2001. He was also manager of Newport County from 2002 until 2004 and led them to the 2003 FAW Premier Cup final. From August 2005 to April 2009 he was manager of Llanelli and won the Welsh Premier League title in 2008, he was replaced by Andy Legg in April 2009.[8]



Crystal Palace






  • Harris, Jeff (1995). Hogg, Tony (ed.). Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. ISBN 1-899429-03-4.
  1. ^ Alpuin, Luis Fernando Passo (20 February 2009). "Wales - Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Peter Nicholas". Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Arsenal 1–0 Norwich". Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Arsenal 2–4 Manchester United". Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Third Round? This is our cup final! Arsenal and Spurs stars joust over derby shootout". 3 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  6. ^ Brentford Matchday Magazine versus Preston North End 14/02/98. Quay Design of Poole. 1998. p. 19.
  7. ^ "Peter Nicholas to Leave Llanelli". 27 April 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  8. ^ "Legg appointed as Llanelli boss". BBC Sport. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  9. ^ "Manager of the Season". Welsh Premier League. Retrieved 7 June 2018.