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Barry Nicholson (born 24 August 1978) is a Scottish former professional footballer, who played as a midfielder. He is currently in charge of Fleetwood Town's development squad and is caretaker manager of the first team squad.

Barry Nicholson
Personal information
Full name Barry Nicholson[1]
Date of birth (1978-08-24) 24 August 1978 (age 40)
Place of birth Dumfries, Scotland
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Fleetwood Town (Development Manager)
Youth career
Maxwelltown Thistle
1992–1996 Rangers[2]
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–2000 Rangers 8 (0)
2000–2005 Dunfermline Athletic 174 (23)
2005–2008 Aberdeen 102 (13)
2008–2012 Preston North End 93 (9)
2012–2013 Fleetwood Town 30 (2)
2013–2014 Kilmarnock 23 (2)
Total 430 (49)
National team
2001–2004 Scotland 3 (0)
Teams managed
2015– Fleetwood Town (Development Manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He started his professional career with Rangers and went on to play over 100 games for each of Dunfermline Athletic, Aberdeen and Preston North End. He then played for Fleetwood Town before finishing his career at Kilmarnock. Nicholson earned three full caps for Scotland, all won during his time with Dunfermline.


Club careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

Born in Dumfries,[3] Nicholson watched matches of hometown club Queen of the South with his father. From playing youth football in Dumfries, he then joined Rangers.[2][4] Limited appearances in Rangers' first team over several years saw him move on in 2000. Some records show that he scored once for Rangers in a UEFA Champions League qualifier against FC Haka in 1999,[5] but Nicholson has stated that the goal should be credited to Jonatan Johansson.[4]

Dunfermline AthleticEdit

Nicholson joined Dunfermline Athletic under the helm of Jimmy Calderwood and was a first team regular in what was the Pars' most successful period since the George Farm era. 2002-03 saw them finish 5th, and the following season they finished fourth as well as reaching the 2004 Scottish Cup Final, qualifying for a UEFA competition for the first time since 1970.


Nicholson's performances at East End Park saw him signed by Aberdeen for a fee of £250,000 in July 2005[6] and re-joined former boss Calderwood who had since moved to Pittodrie. The move paid dividends as his strong performances towards the end of the 2006–07 season saw him score vital goals. The most notable of these was the last minute equaliser against Hearts which all but clinched third place for Aberdeen, with only two matches of the season left at that stage.[7][4]

The Dons qualified from their group in the 2007-08 UEFA Cup after a 4–0 win against F.C. Copenhagen. They were twice ahead in the next round at home against Bayern Munich before drawing 2–2. The Bavarians won the return leg comfortably.

In October 2007, Nicholson scored the first hat-trick of his career, by scoring three goals against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the quarterfinals of the League Cup,[8] with two of the goals being penalties.

Nicholson scored the second goal for Aberdeen against hometown club Queen of the South in the 2007-08 Scottish Cup semifinals. Queens won the 7-goal thriller 4–3 to make it to the final for the first time in their history.[9][10][4] He later magnanimously said, "I think that they were the better team and deserved to go through."[2]

Preston North EndEdit

On 30 June 2008, Nicholson signed a two-year contract with an option of a third year on a free transfer for Preston North End, subject to passing a medical.[11]

Nicholson scored his first goal for Preston in a 2–0 preseason friendly away to Chorley. On 22 August 2009, he sustained a suspected broken leg in the Championship game versus Peterborough United. Nicholson returned from injury for the final game of the 2009-10 season only to limp off the field within 15 minutes suffering from an injury to the same leg. Nicholson returned to the side in January 2011 playing regularly for the remainder of the season. He was released by Preston at the end of the 2011-12 season.[12]

Later careerEdit

Nicholson signed for Fleetwood Town for the 2012-13 season.[13] He then moved to Kilmarnock in August 2013 on a short term contract.[14] On 24 August 2014, he scored his first goal for the club in a 2–1 defeat against Hibernian.[15] In January 2014, Nicholson's contract was extended until the end of the season.[16]

At the end of the 2013–14 season, Nicholson retired from playing and became the development manager at Fleetwood Town.[17]

International careerEdit

Nicholson won three caps for Scotland, the first being in the friendly draw with Poland in April 2001; the last was in the friendly defeat to Sweden in November 2004.[2]

# Date Opponent Result Competition
1 25 April 2001   Poland Poland 1–1 Scotland Friendly match
2 6 October 2001   Latvia Scotland 2–1 Latvia World Cup qualifier
3 17 November 2004   Sweden Scotland 1–4 Sweden Friendly match



  1. ^ "Barry Nicholson". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Barry Nicholson interview on
  3. ^ "Scottish Cup splits duo's loyalties". BBC Sport. 11 April 2008. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d "Barry Nicholson interview". Aberdeen F.C. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Rangers rampant as Mols strikes". The Independent. 29 July 1999. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Scottish Cup splits duo's loyalties". BBC Sport. 7 June 2005. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Hearts 1–1 Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 6 May 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  8. ^ "Aberdeen 4–1 Inverness CT". BBC Sport. 31 October 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  9. ^ "Club History" on the official Queen of the South website
  10. ^ "Queen of the South 4–3 Aberdeen". BBC News. 12 April 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  11. ^ "Preston clinch Nicholson signing". BBC Sport. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  12. ^ "Graham Westley wields the axe at Preston North End". BBC Sport. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Fleetwood Town sign Preston midfielder Barry Nicholson". BBC Sport. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Kilmarnock sign Mark Stewart and Barry Nicholson". BBC Sport. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  15. ^ Barnes, John (25 August 2013). "Kilmarnock 1-2 Hibernian". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Kilmarnock extend stays for Irvine, Gardyne and Nicholson". BBC Sport. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  17. ^ Stocks, Rob (15 July 2014). "Nicholson plans youth production line at Fleetwood Town". Fleetwood Weekly News. Retrieved 30 July 2014.

External linksEdit