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A former notorious Everton football hooligan once started a fight by punching an "abusive" fan, only to discover he had tourettes.
Andy Nicholls followed Everton and England home and away, and was caught up in the waves of football hooliganism that swept the UK in the 80s and 90s.
After eventually receiving a ban from all of Everton’s matches, Andy is now allowed back inside Goodison Park and works with local community charities.
However, speaking to James English on his Anything Goes podcast, the ex-hooligan revealed that he continued to be banned from non-league activity from an incident that occurred during the time he was managing Holywell Town.
Andy explained that the unfortunate encounter occurred during a fixture against a rival side, remembering: “This is where it all went wrong.
“Then they got a penalty in the last minute… And they scored this penalty, and I’ll never forget, this t**t next to us jumping up and down, and he was like the fella off the Mean Machine."
The Liverpudlian recalled that the irate man was hurling expletive-laden insults at Andy’s team, yelling: “Send them down!”
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, Andy remembered that he didn’t respond well to this.
Hitting his palm with his fist, Andy described how he swung for the fan and started a brawl, saying: “I’ve just gone ‘f**k off’. The lot’s gone, into the dugout, match abandoned, everybody fighting.
“And I remember their chairman, lovely fella, great charity work and I do a lot of functions with him.
“He just says to me, ‘Nico, you’ve got a f***ing screw loose, you’re a disgrace. And it hurt me, I had my suit covered in mud, and I said, ‘f**k off, him?’ And he went, ‘he’s got tourette's mate’.
“He said, ‘mate, he’s suffered for years’.”
The unfortunate incident landed Andy in hot water with the Welsh FA, and he was charged with ‘bringing the game into disrepute’.
But, after pleading guilty, Andy was still hit with a £1200 fine. He refused to pay and has been banned from having any involvement with non-league football to this day.
Andy also spent time in prison for his football hooliganism with Everton, and on the same podcast episode, he recalled a mass brawl breaking out in the jail church, calling it the “scariest day of my life”.
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- Everton FC
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