Dave Nicholson RIP

January 20th  2021

The Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust was sad to learn of the death of ex-Roughyed Dave Nicholson on the Isle of Man.

Fans will remember Dave as a hard-working second-row forward in two of Oldham’s most successful seasons for many years.

Nicholson Dave 1

Dave, who played originally for Blackbrook ARLFC and toured Australia, New Zealand and PNG with the pioneering BARLA open-age international squad before turning pro for Swinton in 1979. He played a total of 31 games for the Lions making a lot of friends at Station Road along the way.

He impressed Swinton coach Frank Myler in his two seasons with the Lions, so much so that when Myler  took charge at Watersheddings ahead of the 1981-2 season and wanted to tighten the defence, he  went back to his former club and signed Nicholson and utility back Alan Taylor in a joint deal worth £20,000.

It was the start of a brilliant season in which Dave played 25 times as Oldham won 30 of their 32 league games to finish top of Division Two, to carry off the Slalom Lager Rose Bowl, to pick up £6,000 in prize money and to lift their first trophy since 1964.

They also reached their first cup semi-final in 17 years, beating Doncaster, Huddersfield and Leeds, all at home, to take on Hull at Headingley, losing 22-6 in the last four of the John Player Trophy with Dave playing at prop

Dave played in 35 matches for Oldham scoring 7 tries.

The Myler years will be long remembered . . . as will the part played by Dave Nicholson in Frank’s  first two seasons.

Rest in peace Dave, the condolences of the Oldham Rugby League Heritage Trust and all the Oldham RL fraternity go out to all of Dave’s family and friends.