England Football Online
Page Last Updated 27 April 2016
Players Index

Bill Nicholson

Tottenham Hotspur FC

1 appearance, 1 debut goal

P 1 W 1 D 0 L 0 F 5: A 2
100% successful


disciplined: none
minutes played:


Full name William Edward Nicholson OBE
Born 26 January 1919 at 15 Vine Street, Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire [registered in Scarborough, March 1919]. To Joseph and Edith (née Gowan). Eight of nine children.
Attended Gladstone Road Junior School and Scarborough Boys High School.
census notes According to the 1911 census, Joseph and Edith, who were married in 1899, were living at 25 Vine Street in Scarborough. Joseph was a coachman. They had five children, George, Fred, Doris, Edith and Joseph.
Married to Grace L. Power 'Darkie' [registered in Edmonton, Middlesex, June 1942]. Two daughters
Died 23 October 2004 in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, aged 85 years 271 days [registered in Hatfield, October 2004].
Height/Weight 5' 9", 11st. 8lbs [1951].


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & Ancestry.com

Biographies *Glory Glory: My Life with Spurs - Bill Nicholson (Macmillan, London 30 August 1984)
#Bill Nicholson at Tottenham Hotspur 1958-1974: a celebration of the career of a great manager - John James Maguire (The author, Widnes 1995)
Mr Tottenham Hotspur: Bill Nicholson OBE Memories of a Spurs Legend - Steve E. Hale (Football World, April 2005)

Double Bill: The Bill Nicholson Story - Alan Mullery and Paul Trevillion (Mainstream Publishing, 8 September 2005)
Bill Nicholson: Football's Perfectionist - Brian Scovell (John Blake Publishing, 11 May 2011)
Bill Nicholson Revisted: The Master of White Hart Lane - Norman Giller (NMG Enterprises, 14 November 2013)

*A professional with Spurs from 1938. then manager, adviser and scout for the club which was indeed his life. #Short, self-published tribute - A Football Compendium, Peter J. Seddon (1999).

Club Career

Club(s) Began his career with Scarborough Working Men's Club junior side and the Young Liberals. Joined Tottenham Hotspur FC as an amateur on 16 March 1936, developing with Northfleet FC, He signed professionally with Spurs in August 1938, and went on to guest with Sunderland AFC, Middlesbrough FC and Newcastle United FC during WW2. Having joined the Durham Light Infantry rising to the rank of sergeant. He was stationed in Italy following the end of the war, and did not return to the playing field until 1948, he retired after 314 league appearances and six goals, in 1955.
Club honours: Football League Division Two winners 1949-50; Football League Champions 1950-51, runners-up 1951-52; FA Charity Shield winners 1951;
Individual honours: Football League (one appearance). English Football Hall of Fame inductee 2003
Distinctions: Awarded the OBE in 1975.
In 1999 an approach road to White Hart Lane was named Bill Nicholson Way in his honour.

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

Management Career

Club(s): Following his retirement from playing in 1955, Nicholson remained with Tottenham Hotspur FC in a succession of coaching appointments. Stepped up to assistant manager in August 1957 and manager on 11 October 1958, a position he held until his resignation in September 1974. He never remained out of the game long, as he returned as a consultant for Ron Greenwood at West Ham United FC in August 1975. Returning to Tottenham Hotspur in July 1976 in an administrative role.
Club honours: Football League Champions 1960-61, runners-up 1961-62; FA Cup winners 1960-61, 1961-62, 1966-67; Football League Cup winners 1970-71, 1972-73; FA Charity Shield winners 1961, 1962, shared 1967; UEFA European Cup Winners Cup winners 1962-63; UEFA Cup winners 1971-72, runners-up 1973-74;

England Career

Player number 706th player to appear for England.
Position(s) Right-half
Only match No. 264, 19 May 1951, Portugal 2 England 5, a Festival of Britian celebration match at Goodison Park, Walton, Liverpool, aged 32 years 113 days.
Major tournaments None
Team honours x
Individual honours England B (four appearances)
Distinctions Nicholson scored after only thirty seconds, maybe nineteen, against Portugal, possibly the fastest debut goal in all international football. Jack Cock scored after thirty.

Beyond England

Bill found more fame behind the scenes. Under his managership, Spurs were at their most successful. He paid large transfer fees but rarely made a poor deal, achieving blends that delighted crowds besides winning trophies. He was appointed club president of Spurs in 1991. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.185.


Bill Nicholson - Career Statistics
Squads Apps Comp.
Starts Sub on Sub off Mins. Goals Goals Av.min Comp.
Capt. Disc.
- 1 0 1 0 0 90 1 90 min 0 none none
Due to the fact that many matches rarely stuck to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries, errors and substitutions.  The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.


Bill Nicholson - Match Record - All Matches - By Colour of Shirt - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home 1 1 0 0 5 2 +3 0 0 5.00 2.00 100.0 +1
All - White - Friendly 1 1 0 0 5 2 +3 0 0 5.00 2.00 100.0 +1


Bill Nicholson - Match History
 Club: Tottenham Hotspur F.C. - 1 full cap

Coach: Walter Winterbottom - 1 full capx

Age 30
1 b 18 January 1950 - England B 5 Switzerland B 0, Hillsborough, Sheffield Fr HW Start 4
Age 31
2 b 11 May 1950, Italy B 5 England B 0, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano tour AL Start 4
- 254 14 May 1950 - Portugal 3 England 5, Estádio Nacional, Jamor, Lisboa AW squad member
3 b 17 May 1950, Netherlands 3 England B 0, Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam AL Start 4
- 255 18 May 1950 - Belgium 1 England 4, Stade du Centenaire, Bruxelles AW squad member
- b 21 May 1950 - Luxembourg 1 England B 2, Stade Municipal, Stad Lëtzeburg AW squad member
Age 32
1 264 19 May 1951 - England 5 Portugal 2, Goodison Park, Liverpool Fr HW Start 4