Goalkeeping legend Eric Nixon talks about his life and career with Debi Jones on ‘Cruising with the stars’ August 30th at 8pm then August 31st 12 noon and 4pm on the Holiday and Cruise Channel Sky 284. www.holidayandcruisechannel.co.uk EricNixon follows in the footsteps of Hamilton Management’s Liggy Webb and sister company Pop Tribute’s Gary Ryan and Bongo Eddie (Kid Creole & the coconuts) www.poptributes.co.uk
Eric Nixon is a highly respected former Manchester City, Tranmere Rovers & Stockport County goalkeeper. In a 22 year career, he made over 500 league appearances. He achieved the rare distinction of playing in all 4 divisions of the Football League in a single season. He is a UEFA & FA qualified goalkeeping coach who has completed successful spells with Tranmere Rovers & Fleetwood Town. He is a sports ambassador & football pundit, widely acknowledged as a legend of the modern game. He is the current goalkeeping coach at Macclesfield Town.
Born in Manchester, Eric Nixon began his career in 1982 at Non-League club Curzon Ashton from Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester. In December 1983, he signed for Manchester City having walked in off the street and asked for a trial!He made 84 appearances in 5 years at the club, and was sent out on loan 5 times. And it was with 4 of those loan spells in the 1986–87 season that he achieved the rare distinction of playing for a club in all 4 divisions of the Football League in a single season.
In August 1986 he went on loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 4th Division, making 16 league appearances. This was followed by short loan spells at Bradford City, who were then in the 2nd Division, in November 1986, & Southampton, in the 1st Division, in December 1986. The following month he went out on loan, this time to Carlisle United, who were in the 3rd Division, where he made 16 league appearances. Nixon’s final loan move while at Manchester City came in March 1988, when he went to Tranmere Rovers making 8 league appearances.
Eric Nixon signed for Tranmere Rovers permanently in July 1988 going on to 432 appearances, including 333 league appearances over 9 years, and was with the club during their rise from the 4th Division to the 1st Division play-offs in 1992–93. In the 1988–89 season he kept 25 clean sheets, which still stands as a club record for the most clean sheets in a season.
Eric was also a part of the team that won the Leyland DAF Cup in 1989–90, beating Bristol Rovers 2–1 in the final at Wembley. He was part of the Tranmere Rovers golden squad, playing in a time during which the team reached the Coca Cola cup semi-final in 1994 and the play off’s to reach the Premiership for 3 consecutive years.
In 1996, Nixon was sent out on loan three times. In January he joined Reading; the following month he was loaned to Blackpool, for whom he made 20 league appearances; and in September he spent a second spell at Bradford City, making 12 league appearances.
STOCKPORT COUNTY , WIGAN ATHLETIC, TRANMERE ROVERS & BEYOND
In August 1997, Eric Nixon was signed by Stockport County. In 19 months he made 42 league appearances, & he was also sent on loan again, this time to Wigan Athletic in August 1998, before signing for them permanently in March 1999 on a free transfer. However, his time at Wigan was short-lived, and in July he was back at Tranmere Rovers for a 3rd time, on another free transfer, where he stayed for a further 4 years, becoming a part-time goalkeeping coach.After focussing on coaching, Nixon spent a short loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers in October 2001,for whom he kept 3 clean sheets in 3 games.On his return, he signed non-contract terms with Tranmere.
In August 2002, he again signed as a non-contract player with the club to provide goalkeeping cover. The 2002–03 season was his testimonial season & his testimonial match was played at Prenton Park on 6th August against Manchester City.When he played in goal against Crewe Alexandra in September 2002, Nixon became the oldest player to ever play for the club.
Nixon’s final club was Sheffield Wednesday, for whom he signed on a free transfer in July 2003, and where he was used as a goalkeeping coach,making 1 league appearance — on 27 September 2003 against Grimsby Town.His spell with the club was spent coaching 3 days a week, and spending 2 days back at Tranmere Rovers coaching.
While he was still playing, Eric Nixon had started working towards gaining his goalkeeping coach licence. He has completed successful spells as full time goalkeeping coach with both Tranmere Rovers until 2006 and later Fleetwood Town 2008-2011. Eric Nixon holds both a UEFA goalkeeping coaching A license and a UEFA football coaching A licence.In addition to running his own gym for a number of years he also provides goalkeeping and football workshops to people of all ages and abilities.
He has played several times at charity Soccer Six events and at masters football tournaments representing both Manchester City and Tranmere Rovers. In 2012 he released his acclaimed autobiography ‘Big Hands Big Heart’ and completed several booksignings at some of his old clubs and several outlets of Waterstones. In July 2012 Eric Nixon became new goalkeeping coach at Macclesfield Town FC.
RELEVANT SPORTING QUALIFICATIONS
• UEFA A Licensed Football Coach
• UEFA A Licenced Goalkeeping Coach
• FA Level 4 Licence Coach
• FA Coach Educator
• FA Emergency Aid Award
• FA SafeGuarding Children
• A 1 NVQ Assessor
• P.T.T,L’s Teaching Qualification
• Reps’s Level 3 Personal Training Instructor
• Active IQ in fitness Instruction
• Foundation in Fitness Instruction
• Premier Fitness Trainer award L3
• Kettlebell Instructor
HONOURS AND ACCOLADES
2007 – Honoured for outstanding service to Tranmere Rovers as winner of the Dave Russell Award at the annual Liverpool Echo Sports Personality Awards in Liverpool.
1994 – League Cup Semi Finalist
Played in first division Play-offs: 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95
1990-91 – Division Three play-off winner :Tranmere Rovers
1990–91 Member of Football League Third Division PFA Team of the Year
1989-90 – Leyland DAF Cup winner: Tranmere Rovers
1989–90 Member of Football League Third Division PFA Team of the Year
1988–89 Member of Football League Fourth Division PFA Team of the Year
1986-87 – Played in all 4 leagues of the Football Division in 1 season
Key Eric Nixon clubs;