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Sammy Nicholl funeral to be held on Friday

The funeral of Maltese football legend Sammy Nicholl will be held on Friday, his family announced on Wednesday.

Nicholl passed away on Monday night at the age of 88.

Nicholl’s funeral will be held on Friday at the Annunciation Parish Church, Balzan at 3pm.

In a statement, Sammy Nicholl’s family said that they “request that those attending are asked to wear colourful attire or football jerseys. This is a celebration of life.”

Nicholl is regarded as one of the best football players that has ever graced the Maltese football pitches, winning several honours during his playing career before becoming a popular football pundit when he hung up his boots.

A clever inside-forward, Sammy could make goals as well as score them.

He could also play on the wing, delivering perfect crosses for his centre-forward with uncanny precision. However, he was most effective in the thick of the battle where a well-placed shot or a timely sprint nearly always ended in disaster for the opposition.

Nicholl started his football career with Żebbuġ Rangers but will be mostly remembered for the long and distinguished career he had with Sliema Wanderers where he donned the Blues shirt 135 times between 1952 and 1964, scoring 80 goals.

With the Wanderers Nicholl won five league titles, three FA Trophies, the Cassar Cup three times, and the Scicluna Cup on six occasions.

A prolific goalscorer, Nicholl went on to finish as the leading scorer in the league twice, in season 1955-56 when he netted 15 goals and the following season when he found the net 14 times.

Nicholl also formed part of the Malta national team and was picked to play for the national team in the first-ever international match against Austria, which the latter won 3-2 at the Empire Stadium.

The goal he scored late in that match has since gone down with letters of gold in the annals of Maltese football history.

Nicholl went on to collect seven caps for Malta, scoring one goal.

He also formed part of the Malta XI, making 15 appearances and netted three goals.

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