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Mark Nicholls - Chelsea FC - League appearances & brief biography.

Photo/Foto: Nigel French

Date: 13 December 1997

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      Monday, 30 May 1977
      London, England.
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 12th October 1996 in a 3-1 win at Leicester City (Aged: 19)
    • Club Career
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Mark NICHOLLS - Chelsea FC - League appearances & brief biography.

11 League apps (+25 as sub), 3 goals

There can be no doubt that the plaudits earned by the managerial team of Ruud Gullit and Graham Rix during their time at the Stamford Bridge helm were well-earned, and the pair's decisions generally well-received by the Blues faithful, but one player of theirs who never succeeded in winning over the supporters was Mark Nicholls. Short and scrawny, Nicholls bore the look of a schoolground player but was earmarked by the Chelsea management as a striker with a tremendous future ahead of him, having made his mark in the club's youth and reserve teams. His rise to prominence continued when he was given his first-team bow at Leicester in October 1996, although he was replaced at half-time with the Blues trailing 1-0 before an explosive second-half performance saw them clinch a 3-1 win, and a further seven appearances - five as a substitute - followed late in the season as Gullit rested players ahead of crucial cup matches.


The manager confidently threw Nicholls into his side early in the following campaign, and the youngster was on the pitch for the last twenty minutes of a 6-0 rout of Barnsley on the second weekend of the season, but his performances - and, in truth, a propensity towards arrogance and petulance - brought criticism from the supporters, who felt his apparent self-satisfaction was not justified in light of his performances. Nevertheless, nobody was complaining when he struck his first goal for the Blues, the fifth of Chelsea's half-dozen in a 6-1 humiliation of Spurs at White Hart Lane. However, a weak, out-of-his-depth performance in an FA Cup defeat by Manchester United saw him return to the bench, and he was the victim of audible groans when he took to the field as a second-half replacement for Danny Granville as the Blues trailed Coventry in a league match six days later.


To Nicholls' credit, and to the amazement of the supporters, the young striker turned the game on its head with two outstanding strikes which were added to by a late Robbie Di Matteo effort which sealed a 3-1 victory - but they would prove to be his last goals for the club. Gianluca Vialli replaced Gullit within weeks of the Coventry clash, and the Italian displayed far less confidence in Nicholls' abilities. Mark's nine appearances throughout 1998/99 all came from the substitute's bench, the majority as a late replacement to use up precious seconds in games where the Blues were holding out for victory, and the fact that he was not selected despite Chelsea suffering a post-Christmas injury crisis demonstrated Vialli's lack of faith. Loan spells with Reading, Grimsby and Colchester followed before he eventually joined Torquay United in the summer of 2001 on a free-transfer. (Kelvin Barker)



1994–2001    Chelsea    36    (3)
1994–1995     Chertsey Town (loan)    ?    (?)
1999–2000     Reading (loan)    5    (1)
2000              Grimsby Town (loan)    6    (0)
2000             Colchester United (loan)    4    (0)
2001             Aldershot Town    ?    (?)
2001             Partick Thistle    1    (0)
2001             Torquay United    9    (1)
2001              Hamilton Academical    2    (2)
2001–2002    Clydebank    11    (0)
2002             Chesham United    ?    (?)
2002–2003    Maidenhead United    18    (2)
2003–2004    Northwood    27    (12)
2004–2005    Hendon    ?    (?)
2005–2006    Uxbridge    ?    (?)
2006              Hayes    ?    (?)
2006–2007    Northwood    13    (6)
2007–2009    Uxbridge    ?    (?)
2009–2010    Beaconsfield SYCOB        
2010–2011    Walton Casuals        
2011–2013    North Greenford United    21    (3)