Born: Upton Park, 1979 (Age 35) 1996-99: Nicholls started his career at Charlton Athletic, making his debut as a substitute in a defeat to Ipswich. A serious knee injury ruled the midfielder out of most of the 97-98 season, including the play-off final victory against Sunderland. Failed to break into the team for the Addicks’ season in the Premier League and spent a short spell on loan at Brighton.
Nicholls was transferred to Wigan for £250,000, rising to £650,000 based on appearances. He was injured on his Latics debut, though, and didn’t play again for six months. Played 26 games the next season and scored in the play-off semi-final defeat to Reading.
Nicholls moved back south with Joe Kinnear signing him for Luton for an initial fee of £25,000. He became the club captain in his first season with the Hatters, leading them to promotion. Missed five months through injury in the 03-04 season but bounced back to be named Luton’ s player of the year the following campaign as the club won League One. 2006-08: Leeds signed Nicholls for £700,000 but he was injured in his first training session. He made a quick recovery as his debut came a month earlier than expected. Dennis Wise made the midfielder captain but he was sent of f in his first game with the armband. Just 15 appearances in, Nicholls left Elland Road and signed for Preston for £750,000. The arrival of Alan Irvine as manager seemed to halt his Preston career, though, and he was released after just one year. 2008-present: Nicholls returned to Kenilworth Road, again becoming Luton’s club captain. He missed much of the 08-09 season but r eturned to captain the Hatters to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, beating Scunthorpe 3-2 at Wembley. Knee problems began to take their toll, though, and Nicholls made just 23 appearances the next campaign before leaving the club by mutual consent. He is currently working in player recruitment for footballing agency Elite Management Agency.