David Nish

Leicester City In 100 Players: David Nish

David Nish was an elegant, cool-headed, creative and versatile player, who developed into a quietly authoritative captain and led his side by example.
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As an Ashby Grammar School pupil, he shone as a goalscoring wing-half, with the Coalville Schools side, the English Grammar Schools team and as captain of the England youth team. 

Although several clubs were interested in signing him, David stayed on at school until, aged 17, he left in July 1966 to sign as a professional for Leicester City, by which time he had already been selected three times as an unused substitute for the first team.

He soon showed his potential by scoring on his debut in a First Division match against Stoke City at Filbert Street in December 1966. Thereafter, his progress was startling, demonstrating real star quality. 

He quickly established himself in the first team, after which he barely missed a match for the next five-and-a-half years, initially playing as a creative midfielder and defensive wing-half, before becoming established at left full-back and captain. 

Alf Ramsey awarded David the first of his 10 England Under-23s caps in April 1969. Ten days later, aged 21, he became the youngest FA Cup Final captain in history, when his Leicester City team met Manchester City at Wembley. 

Leicester City were relegated three weeks after the cup final, but David captained the side to winning the Second Division title and the Charity (now Community) Shield in 1971. As captain, he also helped to establish Leicester City’s place back in the top flight in the 1971/72 season. 

However, his ability and class hadn’t gone unnoticed by other clubs, and after the fourth game of the 1972/73 season, Brian Clough, manager of the league champions Derby County, broke the British transfer record by outbidding Manchester United and paying a fee of £225,000 to sign Nish, a sum which helped finance the arrival at Filbert Street of future Leicester City stars Frank Worthington and Dennis Rofe. 

At Derby County, David won five full England caps and a league championship medal (in 1975), before he suffered a series of knee injuries. He then played for Tulsa Roughnecks and Seattle Sounders in the NASL. 

Between 1991 and 2002, David returned to Leicester City and fulfilled various roles, including youth development officer, caretaker manager for two games (in 1995), academy director and head of youth coaching. 

This was followed by a year on Derby County’s backroom staff, before David retired from football in 2003. 

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