Former footballer and manager and Abbeyfield resident Chris Nicholl has had a trophy named in his honour. Legends from his clubs, including former England international Matt Le Tissier, turned out to compete for the inaugural Chris Nicholl trophy in Walsall, which was clinched by a Midlands Legends team. Chris made the trip up to the game from Speedwell Court, a dementia-friendly care home in Southampton managed by the Abbeyfield Society, where he is a resident.
Reflecting on his career in the beautiful game, Chris credits his father for inspiring him. “My dad was my main influence. He played football in Northern Ireland, having come from Belfast originally, and taught me everything I know.
We used to go out on the green and practice all the time. I was lucky enough to be able to see the look on his face when I told him that our family club, Aston Villa, wanted to sign me, and my proudest moments were playing for Northern Ireland. I won over 50 caps and scored three goals, which was a great way to honour my dad.”
Nowadays Chris continues to follow football and pass on his gifts, and is a regular leader at Speedwell Court’s weekly exercise group. “It’s important to do it right,” says Chris, “and teaching is something I’ve always really enjoyed.”
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