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Villa's Fab 50 top player countdown: 28 Chris Nicholl

Picture gallery: Take That 'rule the world' on first night at Villa Park Tuesday media watch [28.06.11 AM]
Villa's Fab 50 top player countdown: 28 Chris Nicholl

Villa's Fab 50
28: Chris Nicholl
Career: 1972-1977
Appearances: 252
Goals: 20

Centre-back Chris Nicholl was a dominant figure at the heart of Villa's defence for more than five seasons, yet he is best remembered for his goalscoring achievements.

It's not that he was prolific, just that he scored some unusual and spectacular goals.

At Filbert Street in March 1976, for instance, he contrived to score all four goals - two into his own net - as Villa drew 2-2 with Leicester City.

And 13 months later he was on target with an amazing dipping shot from at least 35 yards in a dramatic 3-2 victory over Everton in the second replay of the League Cup final.

He had been appointed captain by then, and proudly held the trophy aloft at Old Trafford after one of the greatest games in Villa's history.

A gritty, uncompromising defender, Nicholl was signed from Luton Town in March 1972 and was on target in only his second match, going on to make 13 appearances as Villa became Third Division champions.

Over the next four seasons, he barely missed a game, helping the club to League Cup glory and promotion from Division Two in 1975.

Powerful in the air, he was a strong tackler who also had excellent positional sense.

His Villa days came to an end in the summer of 1977 when he joined Southampton, a club he later managed.

He also had a spell in charge of Walsall as well as working as assistant to his former Saints boss Lawrie McMenemy with Northern Ireland.

All profiles courtesy of Rob Bishop and Frank Holt's comprehensive book: Aston Villa - The Complete Record.

Pick up your Villa season ticket for next term - click here.

 Villa's Fab 50 Countdown

50: John Carew - click here
49: Juan Pablo Angel - click here
48: John Deehan - click here
47: Ken McNaught - click here
46: Gary Williams - click here
45: Tony Daley - click here
44: Ashley Young - click here
43: Jackie Sewell - click here
42: David Platt - click here
41: Dean Saunders - click here
40: Olof Mellberg - click here
39: Martin Laursen - click here
38: Dion Dublin - click here
37: Gabby Agbonlahor - click here
36: Bobby Thomson - click here
35: Harry Burrows - click here
34: Mark Bosnich - click here
33: Ray Graydon - click here
32: Les Smith - click here
31: Harry Parkes - click here 
30: George Cummings - click here
29: Jimmy Dugdale - click here
28: Chris Nicholl

By @AVFCOfficial 28th June 2011
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