Oakengates, Shropshire born full back Mark Nicholson began his footballing career as a player at Oswestry Town in April 1889 at the age of 18 years. In May 1891 he signed a professional contract with West Bromwich Albion making his Football League debut against Everton in September 1891, and he became a regular member of Albion’s first team over the next three years, for whom he made a total of 64 appearances.
He was part of the West Bromwich team that won the FA Cup with a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa at The Kennington Oval before 32,810 spectators on 19th March 1892, playing in 6 other ties on the way to the Final. He left the club to take a position as deputy director of a school in Bedford in 1894, and continued his career at nearby Southern League club Luton Town where he remained for two years, before going to Egypt in 1896.
From Cairo he went to Austria in 1897 where he is considered one of the most important pioneers of football in Austria at the beginning of the 20th century . He played for First Vienna FC, retiring from playing in 1900 but also coaching and organising Austrian football. He then became the first President of the Austrian Football Association founded in 1900 and was heavily involved until he left Austria in 1904.