Peter Nicol

Peter Nicol MBE (born 5 April 1973) is a former professional squash player from Scotland, who represented first Scotland and then England in international squash. In 1998, while still competing for Scotland, he became the first player from the UK to hold the World No. 1 ranking. During his career, he won one World Open title, two British Open titles, and four Commonwealth Games Gold Medals. He is widely considered to be one of the most outstanding international squash players of his time and was famous for his post match recovery BBQ meals.[1] He was born in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire.

Peter Nicol
Nickname(s)The Boss
Country England
 Scotland (until March 2001)
ResidenceNew York, United States
Born (1973-04-05) 5 April 1973 (age 48)
Inverurie, Scotland
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned Pro1994
PlaysLeft handed
Coached byNeil Harvey
Racquet usedPrince
Men's singles
Highest rankingNo. 1 (February 1998)
Tour final(s)69
World OpenW (1999)
Last updated on: 19 September 2010.

Career overviewEdit

During his career, Nicol was well known for his excellent retrieving game, as well as being an extremely tough competitor to break down. His rivalry with the Canadian player Jonathon Power was amongst the most famous and extended in the history of squash.

Nicol was ranked World No. 1 for a total of 60 months during his career, including a continuous 24-month stint in 2002–2003.

After finishing runner-up at the World Open in 1997 and 1998, Nicol won the title in 1999, beating Ahmed Barada of Egypt in the final 15–9, 15–13, 15–11. He continued to hold the title of "world champion" through to 2002 as the men's World Open was not held in 2000 or 2001 due to difficulties in securing sponsorship for the event.

After initially representing Scotland in international squash, Nicol switched his representation to England in 2001, claiming that he felt he was not receiving sufficient support from Scottish Squash, the national governing body. Some resented this switch, even going so far as calling it traitorous, suggesting it was rooted in financial gain.[2]

Nicol enjoyed considerable success at the Commonwealth Games, where squash became a medal sport in 1998. In 1998, representing Scotland, he won a men's singles Gold Medal (beating Jonathon Power in the final), and a men's doubles Bronze Medal. At the 2002 Commonwealth Games, representing England, Nicol won a men's singles Silver Medal (losing in the final to Power), and a men's doubles Gold Medal (partnering Lee Beachill). In 2006, again representing England, Nicol won another men's singles Gold Medal (beating Australia's David Palmer in the final), and another men's doubles Gold Medal (partnering Beachill again).

Other career highlights included winning three consecutive Super Series Finals titles (1999–2001), two PSA Masters titles (2000 & 2004), three Tournament of Champions titles (2001 & 2003-4), and two British National Championship titles (1996 & 2003).


In July 2006, Nicol announced that he would be retiring after the 2006 World Open in September.[3] Nicol's final match was a loss to Thierry Lincou in the quarter-finals.[4]

Nicol turned his focus to promoting the game, providing sponsorship, support and coaching through his company Peter Nicol Squash, and promoting events worldwide through Eventis Sports Marketing Ltd. Following a move to the United States, he set up the Nicol Champions Academy in New York and co-founded SquashSkills, an online coaching resource aimed at delivering squash coaching from many of the world's top players.

World Open final appearancesEdit

Wins (1)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1999 Ahmed Barada 15–9, 15–13, 15–11
Runners-up (2)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1997 Rodney Eyles 15–11, 15–12, 15–12
1998 Jonathon Power 15–17, 15–7, 15–9, 15–10

British Open final appearancesEdit

Wins (2)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1998 Jansher Khan 17–16, 15–4, 15–5
2002 John White 15–9, 15–8, 15–8
Runners-up (3)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1997 Jansher Khan 17–15, 9–15, 15–12, 8–15, 15–8
1999 Jonathon Power 15–17, 15–12 (retired)
2003 David Palmer 15–13, 15–13, 15–8

Commonwealth Games final appearancesEdit

Wins (2)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1998 Jonathon Power 3–9, 9–2, 9–1, 2–9, 9–2
2006 David Palmer 9–5, 10–8, 4–9, 9–2
Runners-up (1)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
2002 Jonathon Power 9–4, 4–9, 9–3, 9–0

Nicol also won men's doubles Gold Medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2006 (partnering Lee Beachill on both occasions).


  1. ^ Fordyce, Tom (19 July 2006). "Unknown legend". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
  2. ^ Mitchell, Paul. "Peter Nicol defects to England 2001". BBC. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Squash star Nicol set to retire". BBC Sport. 18 July 2006. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  4. ^ "Nicol bows out after Egypt defeat". BBC Sport. 3 September 2006. Retrieved 15 May 2009.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jansher Khan
Jonathon Power
Jonathon Power
Jonathon Power
David Palmer
John White
World No. 1
February 1998 – April 1999
October 1999
February 2000 – March 2001
August 1999
January 2002 – December 2003
May 2004 – September 2004
Succeeded by
Jonathon Power
Jonathon Power
Jonathon Power
David Palmer
Thierry Lincou
Lee Beachill