23 December 2007

Harry Nicholl

Name: Henry* Nicholl
Born: 30 October 1875, Enniskillen
Died: 21 August 1911, Belfast
Height:
Weight:
Position: Left-Half

Representative Honours: Ireland: 3 Full Caps (1902-1905); Irish League: 6 Caps (1899-1904).
Club Honours: (with Belfast Celtic) Irish League Champion 1899/1900, Runner-Up 1904/05; Irish Cup Runner-Up 1905/06; City Cup Winner 1905/06, Runner-Up 1901/02, 1902/03; Belfast Charity Cup Winner 1903/04; Co. Antrim Shield Runner-Up 1903/04.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA.Cup
Others
Belfast Celtic
-
-
-
-
Liverpool
97/98
Aug-1897
-
0/ 0
-
-
Belfast Celtic
98/99-01/02
-1898
-
-
-
-
Third Lanark
02/03
-
-
1/ 0
-
-
Belfast Celtic
03/04-09/10
Jun-1903
-
-
-
-
TOTALS
-
£-
-
-
-

Biography:
Great changes were being made at Belfast’s Celtic Football Club at the turn of the twentieth century. Having only been admitted to the Irish League in 1896, Celtic took their first title in 1899/1900. In 1901 the club became a limited company, taking the Belfast prefix to differentiate themselves from their Glasgow cousins. That same year ground would be broken for the club’s new home, Celtic Park or “Paradise” to the regular attendees.

All through these exciting years the club fielded a half-back of great ability, Harry Nicholl. Nicholl was with Celtic from the time they joined the Irish League through to their first appearance in an Irish Cup Final – a 2-0 defeat by Shelbourne in 1906. He was honoured by the Irish League, playing in a famous 3-1 defeat of the Scottish League in 1899, and by Ireland. His three caps, spanning three years, were all won at left-half, though through his career he featured almost as regularly on the right-hand side of the half-back line.

Versatility was an important quality for Nicholl as competition for firstteam football at Belfast Celtic, even in those early days, was stiff and he wasn't always guaranteed a place. He was in the team for many of Celtic's most important matches as they consistently challenged for the major honours and, a brief spells "across the water" with Liverpool and Third Lanark aside, remained a squad member until 1909/10. In all his time at Paradise Nicholl scored just twice, both against Cliftonville in the City Cup in January and December 1904.

Nicholl died from typhoid fever in Purdysburn Hospital, Belfast in August 1911, aged just 35. On his death, the Dundee Courier reported: "As a half-back he had no superior in Irish football when at his best."

Kjell Hanssen

Ireland Cap Details:
22-02-1902 Wales... A W 3-0 BC
22-03-1902 England. H L 0-1 BC
25-02-1905 England. A D 1-1 BC

Summary: 3/0. Won 1, Drew 1, Lost 1.


Additional details by George Glass and Cris Freddi. Photo supplied by Roy Cathcart.

* Possibly Harold.

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