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Saints Legend Chris Nicholl Struck By Dementia
Tuesday, 17th Sep 2019 16:14

Ex Saints player and manager Chris Nicholl has dementia and now needs assisted living where he now resides in Walsall , the Walsall Independent Supporters Association are trying to make his life a little more comfortable.

Chris Nicholl may be no more than a name in the history books to supporters who are under 35, but he played for the club between 1977-83 and was also manager from August 1985 - 1991.

As a player he played 268 games in all competitions including promotion back to the top flight in his first season and an appearance in the League cup final as well as a regular member of the team in the glory years when Kevin Keegan was at the club.

As a manager he gave debuts to the likes of Mathew Le Tissier, Alan Shearer and Rod Wallace and kept the club firmly in mid table as it struggled to adapt after the departure of Lawrie McMenemy taking it to semi finals in both the FA Cup & League cup.

After leaving the club in 1991 he had several roles in football but eventually settled in the Walsall area becoming manager of the club in 1994 and eventually had three spells at the club but retired full a few years back.

A couple of years ago it was revealed he had demetia possibly caused by heading the ball in a long career as a central defender and now that condition has worsened.

Now Walsall Independent Supporters Association WISA are helping make his life a bit more comfortable.

David Beckett, chairman of the association, said:

"It had come to our attention that Chris was in an assisted living accommodation and he wanted to attend the games but they didn't have the staff to take him and sit at the game and take him back. "

"So we took him to the Railway Club before the home game against Bradford City on Saturday and he had a meet and greet with fans.

"Then we went down to the stadium and Walsall FC provided a place for him in the executive box then we picked him back up afterwards and took him back."

"It's something we will try and continue in conjunction with the club, he really enjoyed it.

"We try to do a bit to make life a little bit better for him."

On November 22 the association is holding a fundraising event at the Railway Club on Wednesbury Road, with all money going towards a Christmas party at Chris's assisted living accommodation.

WISA have contacted Saints who are donating memorabilia for the event and also the Ex Saints Association to see if they can help.

It would be nice if Saints fans could help out and perhaps contact Wisa and make a small donation.

For more information visit the Independent Saddlers Supporters Association on Facebook.

Photo: Action Images

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cotswoldsaint added 00:09 - Sep 18
His 1989-90 squad still best attacking team I've ever seen in fifty years as a Saints fan.

highfield49 added 08:29 - Sep 18
Sad news and I know that all of us who supported Saints during Chris's years at Saints will wish him well. Thankfully there are people like WISA who are the lifeblood of the game and care for their past heroes as did Saints supporters when Ron Davies needed help a few years ago. Whilst it's good to hear that SFC are making a donation towards the fundraising event I can't help but think that with the vast sums of money sloshing around the game now a club announcement that they were funding Chris's future care would be welcomed by us all.

bstokesaint added 12:47 - Sep 18
Chris was the manager in charge when I went to my first game, all those years ago. Was saddened to hear of his plight. As Highfield said it'd be nice for the club to chip in for a manager that was with us for 6 years. That's virtually unheard of these days!

underweststand added 19:38 - Sep 18
I thought him to be outstanding as a CB and Captain during his playing days .
Tough, no nonsense player who always gave 100%.

He was successor to Lawrie Mac, and overall gave a good showing as a manager . although he did ruffle a few feathers along the way. I agree with Cotswold Saint about his squads in the later years, but was dumped by the Board because Saints ONLY finished 8th that season...!

When you consider who followed him as Manager... it would have been better to have kept him instead.
Sad to hear about his medical problems, but there are many fans who will remember him with pride - even if he might not recall everything himself.

Burlers added 16:46 - Dec 19
A true Saints legend!

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