Nigel Spink

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Nigel Spink
Personal information
Full name Nigel Philip Spink
Date of birth (1958-08-08) 8 August 1958 (age 58)
Place of birth Chelmsford, England
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
0000–1976 West Ham United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1977 Chelmsford City 10 (0)
1977–1996 Aston Villa 361 (0)
1996–1997 West Bromwich Albion 19 (0)
1997–2000 Millwall 44 (0)
2000–2001 Forest Green Rovers 14 (0)
Total 448 (0)
National team
1983 England 1 (0)
1991 England B 2 (0)
Teams managed
2000–2002 Forest Green Rovers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Nigel Philip Spink[1] (born 8 August 1958) is an English former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper from 1976 until 2001.

He made his name at Aston Villa and also made one appearance for England at international level on the tour of Australia in 1983. He also played in the Football League for West Bromwich Albion and Millwall, as well as playing in Non-league for both Chelmsford City and Forest Green Rovers.

Playing career[edit]

Spink began his career with Writtle Minors F.C. at junior and senior level[2] before going as an apprentice to West Ham United, but soon moved to Chelmsford City and then, at the age of just 18, to Aston Villa. It was almost five years before his big break in the first team came along, and it came on the biggest stage of all – the European Cup Final. Ten minutes into the 1982 final against Bayern Munich, Villa's first choice goalkeeper, Jimmy Rimmer, was injured and substitute keeper Spink was called into action, having only made one previous appearance in the first team. Spink performed superbly, keeping a clean sheet, and Villa won the game 1–0. By curious coincidence, Spink and Rimmer are two of the four England goalkeepers with the shortest international career (45 minutes).[3]

He went on to make 460 appearances for Villa before moving to neighbouring club West Bromwich Albion in 1996, almost two decades after first joining Villa. Spink made 24 appearances in all for Albion, and became the oldest goalkeeper to appear for the club when, at the age of 39 years and 19 days, he kept goal in a League Cup tie against Cambridge United on 27 August 1997,[1] a record since broken by Dean Kiely at 39 years, 189 days.[4]

A £50,000 move in September 1997 took him down a division to Millwall in Division Two, and he continued playing at The Den for another three seasons until he finally retired in June 2000, just before his 42nd birthday.

Coaching & management career[edit]

After retiring as a player, Spink worked as a coach at West Bromwich Albion and then had a two-year spell as manager of Forest Green Rovers in the Conference National. He led Forest Green to the 2001 FA Trophy final but they would go on to lose 1–0 against Canvey Island at Villa Park.[5][6] He was eventually sacked in September 2002.[7]

He then worked under Steve Bruce at Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland as a goalkeeping coach. He left Sunderland on 6 December 2011, following Bruce's dismissal a few days earlier.[8] Spink was goalkeeping coach at Bristol City from February 2012[9] until the end of the 2012–13 season, after which he started a courier business.[10]


Aston Villa:


  1. ^ a b Matthews, Tony (2005). The Who's Who of West Bromwich Albion. Breedon Books. pp. 220–221. ISBN 1-85983-474-4. 
  2. ^ Gallacher, Eric. Writtle Football Club Centenary Book 1902/03 to 2002/03.
  3. ^ John Ruddy is a current international who appeared against Italy in 2012; the fourth is Chris Kirkland.
  4. ^ "Games played by Dean Kiely in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Spink on brink of cup glory". BBC Sport. 11 May 2001. 
  6. ^ "Canvey stun Forest to lift Trophy". BBC Sport. 13 May 2001. 
  7. ^ "Forest Green sack Spink". BBC Sport. 1 September 2002. 
  8. ^ "O'Neill confirms backroom additions". Sunderland A.F.C. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Nigel Spink joins Bristol City as goalkeeping coach". BBC Sport. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Kendrick, Mat (15 June 2013). "Then and Now: Nigel Spink keeps himself busy on the road". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 

External links[edit]