George Nicholls (rugby league)

Last updated
George Nicholls
Personal information
Born (1945-05-14) 14 May 1945 (age 73)
Widnes, England
Playing information
Position Forward
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1966–73 Widnes 2183810
1973–81 St. Helens 2664100123
1981–82 Cardiff City
1982–83 Salford
Total4847910123
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1975–78 England 111003
1971–79 Great Britain 292006
Source: [1] [2] [3]

George Nicholls (born 14 May 1944) is an English former professional rugby league footballer of the 1970s and 1980s. A Great Britain and England international representative forward, he played his club rugby for English sides Widnes and St. Helens. [1] [2] [3] Eventually becoming a St Helens R.F.C. Hall of Fame inductee, he also became the first player to win the Man of Steel Award, Harry Sunderland Trophy and Lance Todd Trophy with the club. With Great Britain, Nicholls also won the 1972 Rugby League World Cup.

Rugby league team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.

Great Britain national rugby league team National team that represents Great Britain

The Great Britain and Ireland national rugby league team represents Great Britain and Ireland in rugby league. Administered by the Rugby Football League (RFL), the team is nicknamed The Lions.

England national rugby league team sportsteam that represents England

The England national rugby league team represents England in international rugby league.

Contents

Background

George Nicholls was born in Widnes, Lancashire, England.

Widnes Town in North West England

Widnes is an industrial town in Halton, Cheshire, Northwest England. In 2011, it had a population of 61,464. Historically in Lancashire, it is on the northern bank of the River Mersey where the estuary narrows to form the Runcorn Gap. Directly to the south across the Mersey is the town of Runcorn. Upstream and 8 miles (13 km) to the east is the town of Warrington, and downstream to the west is Speke, part of the city of Liverpool.

Lancashire County of England

Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians.

Playing career

Widnes

Born in Widnes, Lancashire on 14 May 1944, George Nicholls commenced playing professionally for Rugby Football League club Widnes in 1966. [4] He played for Widnes at prop forward in their 8-15 loss to Wigan in the 1971 Lancashire Cup Final at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Saturday 28 August 1971. [5]

Rugby Football League governing body for professional rugby league football in England

The Rugby Football League is the governing body for professional rugby league in England. The name Rugby Football League previously also referred to the main league competition run by the organisation. This has since been supplanted by Super League, the Championship and League 1.

Widnes Vikings Rugby League team based in Widnes

The Widnes Vikings are an English professional rugby league club based in Widnes, Cheshire that plays in the Betfred Championship. The club plays its home matches at the Halton Stadium. Founded as Widnes Football Club, they are one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league teams. Their historic nickname is "The Chemics" after the main industry in Widnes, but now they use their modern nickname, "The Vikings".

Wigan Warriors English rugby league club

The Wigan Warriors are a professional rugby league club in Wigan, England, who compete in the Super League, and are the current/defending Champions.

While playing club football for Widnes, Nicholls was selected to play at loose forward for the Great Britain Lions who retained the 1972 World Cup. He also played at loose forward in Widnes' 0-5 loss to Leigh in the 1972 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final at Central Park, Wigan on Tuesday 19 December 1972.

The sixth Rugby League World Cup was held in France in October and November 1972. Australia started as the favourites to retain the trophy they had won just two years previously. New Zealand had beaten all three of the other nations in 1971 and France were expected to be tough opponents on their home soil. In the event Great Britain confounded most expectations by running out worthy winners and levelling their tally of World Cup wins at 3–3 with the Australians.

Leigh Centurions

The Leigh Centurions are a professional rugby league club in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England, who compete in the Championship.

1972 was the eighth occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.
This year was another new name on the trophy
Leigh won the trophy by beating Widnes by the score of 5-0
The match was played at Central Park, Wigan,. The attendance was 4,691 and receipts were £1,391
This was Leigh's first victory after being runner-up in two of the previous finals

St Helens

The St. Helens club acquired Nicholls' services in 1973 for £9,000. He played for them at second-row forward in their 22-2 victory over Dewsbury in the 1975 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Tuesday 16 December 1975. In the 1975–76 Challenge Cup Final Nicholls helped the St Helens side to victory. Nicholls played at second-row forward in St. Helens' 2-25 defeat by the 1975 NSWRFL season premiers, Eastern Suburbs Roosters in the unofficial 1976 World Club Challenge at Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday 29 June 1976. [6]

St Helens R.F.C. rugby league club

St Helens R.F.C. is a professional rugby league club in St Helens, Merseyside who compete in the Super League, the top tier of competition for rugby league in Europe.

Dewsbury Rams English rugby league club

The Dewsbury Rams are a professional English rugby league club based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire which competes in the Kingstone Press Championship. They play their home games at the Tetley's Stadium, on Owl Lane. The Rams main fanbase comes from their hometown of Dewsbury but also hold a strong following in Shaw Cross as well as neighbouring Gawthorpe and Ossett, amongst other places. Prior to the 1997 season, the club was known simply as Dewsbury R.L.F.C.

1975 was the eleventh occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.

In the 1978 Challenge Cup Final Nicholls was in the St Helens team which lost 14-12 to Leeds, but he won the Lance Todd Trophy. The voting for the Lance Todd Trophy took place after 70 minutes when St Helens were leading 12-5. That year Nicholls was also voted the best player in the Championship, claiming the second-ever Man of Steel Award. The Open Rugby inaugural World XIII was revealed in June 1978 and included Nicholls. Nicholls played left-second-row in the 7-13 defeat by Widnes in the 1978 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Tuesday 12 December 1978.

Lance Todd Trophy

The Lance Todd Trophy is a trophy in rugby league, awarded to the annual Challenge Cup Final's man of the match. Introduced in 1945–46, the trophy was named in memory of Lance Todd, the New Zealand-born player and administrator, who was killed in a road accident during the Second World War. The trophy's winner is selected by the members of the Rugby League Writers' Association present at the game. The trophy is presented at a celebratory dinner at the AJ Bell Stadium, home of the Salford Red Devils. The trophy belongs to the Red Devils Association, the official body representing ex-Salford players, although as of 2017 no Salford player has won this award.

Rugby League World is a dedicated rugby league magazine published monthly in the United Kingdom. Other rugby league titles published by League Publications Ltd include the weekly newspaper Rugby Leaguer & League Express and the annual Gillette Rugby League Yearbook.

1978 was the fourteenth occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.

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References

  1. 1 2 "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  2. 1 2 "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. 1 2 "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. "George Nicholls". rugby.widnes.tv. Widnes Vikings . Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  5. "1971-1972 Lancashire Cup Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  6. "World Club Challenge 1976 at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.