By Niall Bromley
Blyth Spartans can today announce that defender Alex Nicholson has decided to retire from football with immediate effect due to injury.
Alex has enjoyed a 12-year career in football where he’s represented five different clubs and had three spells at Spartans.
After coming through the ranks at Newcastle, Alex signed for Preston North End as a 19-year-old. In 2014, after a loan spell at Chorley, he decided he wanted to move back to the North East and signed for Blyth in order to play first-team football.
He would then go on to become a stalwart in the Blyth side and play a big part in Spartan’s 2015 FA Cup run which saw them victorious at Victoria Park against Hartlepool United. Alex then moved on to South Shields, where he lifted the FA Vase at Wembley before returning to Blyth in 2018.
Alex helped guide Spartans to their highest ever league finish and qualification for the playoffs, scoring a stunning strike away at Altrincham in the quarter final, only for Blyth to fall just short in the penalty shoot-out.
He then joined Gateshead and helped them lift the National League title last season before rejoining Blyth in the summer.
On his retirement, Alex said “ I’ve decided to call it a day because of the ongoing Achilles problem I’ve had along with other niggling injuries. My body needs a good rest, and I don’t enjoy hanging around the club injured all the time, it’s not me. I wish the club and the supporters all the best for the future and I’ll still be supporting the club all the way.”
On his playing time the defender said “I decided to move back home from Preston in 2014 to play first-team football, and to also think about what else I would like to do besides football, which is how I got into the coaching side of things.
I knew a few lads there at the time and spoke to Tom (Wade) and it just suited me really. I’ve had some fantastic career highlights, obviously winning the league last year is a big one, and winning at Wembley with South Shields, I’m also very proud to have represented Wales from U16 level to U21s, and when I scored the goal for Blyth at Altrincham in the plays-offs we were flying! And I can’t forget the cup run in 2015, we had a great team!”
He went on to say “I’ll definitely miss playing, I’ve done it since I went full-time at Newcastle when I was 16. I’ll miss being around the squad, I know away trips are a nightmare with the distances you travel but it was good craic when you’re with good groups. That’s the one thing I would say is that I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve never been in a bad dressing room in my career.”
Manager Graham Fenton said, “It’s very disappointing and sad that Alex has had to call it a day because of a sustained period of injuries. What was an innocuous neck injury at Curzon has developed into something a lot more serious and sustained and we’ve not been able to get Alex training or in the squad in 10 weeks.
He’s going to be missed because he’s a very good player and a very good person to have around the dressing room.”
The club would like to wish Alex the very best in the future, and hope to still see him around Croft Park!