Acle, Norwich born centre forward John “Jack” Nichols played for Norfolk County before joining Bolton Wanderers in 1896, but he was unable to break into their first team during two seasons at Burnden Park. He joined Second Division club Loughborough in August 1898 and made his debut for them in an FA Cup tie against Mansfield Town in October 1898, a week later he made his Football League debut at Blackpool, scoring 3 times in 13 appearances through to January before joining non league Loughborough Corinthians later in 1899. He spent 1899-1900 on the books of Bury, but again failed to break into their first eleven, his career thereafter is uncertain, although we are informed by his family that it was ended due to a broken leg.
Nichols was also a first class cricketer. He joined Lancashire in 1898 but never made their first eleven, and returned to play Minor Counties cricket for Norfolk until 1902, when he moved to play for Worcestershire, playing in 6 first class matches for the County through to 1912, without any notable success, scoring an aggregate of 45 runs with a high score of 13, before becoming the pro with Staffordshire until the outbreak of the First World War. After being invalided home from his military service, he became the Norfolk coach from 1921 to 1938.