Nicky Forster

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Nicky Forster
Personal information
Full name Nicholas Michael Forster[1]
Date of birth (1973-09-08) 8 September 1973 (age 47)[1]
Place of birth Caterham,[1] England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[2]
Playing position(s) Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991 Horley Town
1992–1994 Gillingham 67 (24)
1992Margate (loan) 1 (1)
1992Hythe Town (loan)
1994–1997 Brentford 109 (39)
1997–1999 Birmingham City 68 (11)
1999–2005 Reading 187 (60)
2005–2006 Ipswich Town 24 (8)
2006–2007 Hull City 35 (5)
2007–2010 Brighton & Hove Albion 98 (40)
2010Charlton Athletic (loan) 8 (2)
2010–2011 Brentford 18 (1)
2011 Lingfield 4 (6)
2012–2013 Dover Athletic 6 (0)
Total 625 (197)
National team
1995 England U21 4 (1)
Teams managed
2011 Brentford
2011–2013 Dover Athletic
2015–2016 Staines Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Nicholas Michael Forster (born 8 September 1973) is a former professional footballer who was most recently the manager of Staines Town. Forster has also been player-manager at Brentford and manager of Dover Athletic.

Football career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Forster, who was born in Caterham, Surrey, was spotted playing for non-league Horley Town and invited for trials by Gillingham in December 1991. After impressing with the youth and reserve teams he signed a professional contract in May 1992, making his debut the following September.[3] He starred for the club during the otherwise disappointing 1993–94 season, scoring 18 goals, but at the end of the season he turned down a new contract and instead joined Brentford for £320,000, a move which provoked bad feeling from Gillingham fans which persisted for many years.[4]

Brentford and Birmingham City[edit]

While at Brentford, Forster formed prolific partnerships with Carl Asaba and Robert Taylor, both of whom would later join his former club Gillingham. He made 109 league appearances for Brentford and scored 39 goals during his time at Griffin Park.[5] He was later capped by England at under-21 level soon afterwards.[5] In January 1997, Forster moved to Birmingham City for a fee of £700,000.[5] He made 67 league appearances and scored eleven league goals for the club.[6]


Two years later he was on the move again, this time to Reading, where he spent six years at the club at a cost of £650,000 between 1999 and 2005. Forster receives part of the credit for salvaging Reading's 1999–2000 season, during which the club rose from Division Two's relegation zone at Christmas to a finish in the top ten under caretaker manager Alan Pardew.[7] However, an injured Forster was unable to contribute to the club's good fortune the following season.[7] However, he did return in time for the 2000–01 Division Two play-off semi final against Wigan Athletic. In the second leg with Wigan leading 1–0 on aggregate, Forster came on as a late substitute. He set up Martin Butler for the equaliser before winning a penalty; after Jamie Cureton's effort was saved, Forster scored from the rebound. Reading were to lose the final 3–2 after extra time to Walsall. He then scored 18 goals the following season as Reading were promoted to Division One.

Forster regards Reading's 2002–03 campaign as his best period of form during his career,[8] when he notched 17 goals, including hattricks against Ipswich Town and Preston North End as Reading finished in fourth place. He scored the opening goal in the play-off semi final against Wolverhampton Wanderers, but went off injured and Reading lost 3–1 on aggregate.

Forster considers the club as "home".[8]

Ipswich Town[edit]

Despite being a popular player at Reading, he was allowed to join Ipswich Town on a free transfer in 2005. Unable to replicate for Ipswich the form he showed with Reading due to several injury setbacks over the 2005–06 season, Forster signed a two-year contract with Hull City on 31 August 2006 for a £250,000 transfer fee.[9] He had been a teammate of Hull City's manager, Phil Parkinson, while at Reading.

Hull City[edit]

During his time at Hull City, Forster made 37 appearances and scored six goals for the club; these totals include one goal in two FA Cup appearances. His form helped propel him to second place in the club's Player of the Year awards for the 2006–07 season.[5]

Brighton & Hove Albion[edit]

In January 2007, Brighton & Hove Albion made an unsuccessful £100,000 bid for Forster.[10] However, at the end of the 2006–07 season, Forster stated his wish to move back to the south of England for family reasons,[11] and eventually signed a three-year contract with Brighton in late June 2007 for a £75,000 fee.[12] He attributed his decision to drop down to Football League One from the Championship to the ambition shown by Brighton manager Dean Wilkins and chairman Dick Knight.[13]

Forster was appointed club captain after the departure of Dean Hammond during January 2008, and confirmed in the role by new manager Micky Adams for the 2008–09 season.[14][15] He won the League One Player of The Month award for September 2009 after scoring five goals in four League games.[16] Having lost his first-team place after a contract dispute with manager Gus Poyet, Forster left Brighton for Charlton Athletic on 25 March 2010 on loan until the end of the season.[17][18] At the conclusion of the season, Forster's contract at Brighton expired and he left the club.

Brentford (second spell)[edit]

On 16 June 2010, Forster re-signed for Brentford on a two-year deal.[19] He scored his first goal in his second spell at the club in a 1–1 draw with Exeter City on 14 January 2011. Forster was appointed as temporary manager following the departure of Andy Scott on 3 February 2011,[20] with Mark Warburton as his assistant.[21] On 1 March, it was confirmed Forster would remain first team manager on a permanent basis until the end of the current season. On 19 May 2011, Forster announced his retirement from football to concentrate on management. Earlier that week, it was announced that he had failed to land the Brentford manager's job.


In 2011, Forster signed for Lingfield of the Sussex County League.[22] He scored twice on his debut in an FA Cup match against Hailsham Town.[23] His first league goals came in his next game for the club in a 3–0 win against AFC Uckfield.

Dover Athletic[edit]

On 27 September 2011, he was appointed player-manager of Dover Athletic after the departure of Martin Hayes.[24] He appeared on the substitutes' bench in the first league match of the season, a 2–2 home draw with Farnborough on 18 August 2012.[25] Forster made his Dover debut as a 46th-minute substitute for Calum Willock in a 1–0 home loss to Chelmsford City on 4 September.[26]

In January 2013, with Dover still third in the table despite five losses in a row, Forster was placed on gardening leave; the club appointed a new manager the following day.[27]

Staines Town[edit]

Forster was appointed as the replacement for Marcus Gayle as manager of Staines Town on 8 January 2015, with the task of keeping them in the Conference South. However, Staines Town were relegated to the Isthmian League Premier Division at the end of the 2014–15 season.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 19 May 2011
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
P W D L Win %
Brentford (caretaker) 3 February 2011 19 May 2011 21 9 5 7 042.9 [28][29]
Total 21 9 5 7 042.9

Personal life[edit]

Forster's stepson, Jake Forster-Caskey, is also a footballer.[30] He runs The Spot Wellness Centre in Godstone.[31][32]




  • Football League Second Division runner-up: 2001–02



  1. ^ a b c "Nicky Forster". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  2. ^ Rollin, Glenda, ed. (1997). Playfair Football Annual 1997–98. Headline. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-7472-5644-1.
  3. ^ Roger Triggs (2001). The Men Who Made Gillingham Football Club. Tempus Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-2243-X.
  4. ^ Keith Pestell (9 November 2002). "Gillingham 0 Reading 1 – Match Report". Archived from the original on 27 January 2003. As the teams were announced Marlon King, who was starting his first match since being released from Standford Hill prison, received a standing ovation from the home supporters, whilst Readings Nicky Forster was greeted by boos and chants of "judas".
  5. ^ a b c d "Player Profile: Nicky Forster". Hull City A.F.C. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Player Statistics: Nicky Forster". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 June 2007.
  7. ^ a b "The History of Reading Football Club". Reading F.C. Archived from the original on 9 April 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2007.
  8. ^ a b "Forster reveals affection for Royals". Reading F.C. 21 March 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2008.
  9. ^ "Tigers Snap Up Forster". Hull City A.F.C. 31 August 2006. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Brighton thwarted in striker bids". BBC Sport. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
  11. ^ "Agent: Forster looks set for move back 'home'". Hull Daily Mail. 14 June 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2010 – via HighBeam Research.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Brighton bag Hull striker Forster". BBC Sport. 25 June 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  13. ^ Camillin, Paul (26 June 2007). "Forster: Ambition Made Me Sign". Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Retrieved 5 August 2008.
  14. ^ "Colchester bag Brighton's Hammond". BBC Sport. 31 January 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  15. ^ Camillin, Paul (5 August 2008). "Fozzy Given the Armband". Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Retrieved 5 August 2008.
  16. ^ a b "Best awarded player of the month". BBC Sport. 5 October 2009. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  17. ^ Andy Naylor (25 March 2010). "Forster goes and Barnes arrives at Albion". The Argus. Brighton. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
  18. ^ "Charlton sign Nicky Forster, Matt Fry and Tony Warner". BBC Sport. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
  19. ^ "Brentford re-sign veteran striker Nicky Forster". BBC Sport. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  20. ^ "Brentford part company with manager Andy Scott". BBC Sport. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  21. ^ Jacob Murtagh (10 December 2013). "Brentford confirm sporting director Mark Warburton as their new manager". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  22. ^ "Lingfield land Forster coup". This is Surrey. Northcliffe Media. 17 August 2011. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  23. ^ "Match Report FA Cup : Extra Preliminary Round – Extra Preliminary Round". Lingfield F.C. 20 August 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  24. ^ "Nicky Forster unveiled as new Dover Athletic manager". KentOnline. Kent Messenger Group. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  25. ^ "Whites pegged back after superb start". Dover Athletic F.C. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  26. ^ Kieran Dodd. "Unbeaten record comes to an end". Dover Athletic F.C. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  27. ^ Steve Wolfe (18 January 2013). "Forster placed on gardening leave". Kent Sports News. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
    Steve Parmenter (19 January 2013). "Kinnear appointed boss". Dover Athletic F.C. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  28. ^ "Managers: Nicky Forster". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  29. ^ "Brentford striker Nicky Forster announces retirement". BBC Sport. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  30. ^ Howard Griggs (13 May 2010). "Why Caskey must be on his guard". The Argus. Brighton. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
  31. ^ Mcguigan, Sean. "Introducing Nicky Forster". Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  32. ^ "Discreet, one-to-one personal training and Wellness Centre Godstone | The Spot". Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  33. ^ Lynch. The Official P.F.A. Footballers Heroes. p. 150.
  34. ^ "PFA teams send Hatters mad". The Guardian. London. 15 April 2002. Retrieved 25 April 2018.

External links[edit]