Tributes have been paid to Aston Villa legend and FA Cup winner Nigel Sims who has passed away.
The former goalkeeper, born at Coton in the Elms in Derbyshire, played for Villa for eight years and notched up over 300 appearances after joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He is most fondly remembered for being part of the FA Cup-winning side of 1957, when the claret and blues, managed by Eric Houghton, defeated Matt Busby’s Manchester United 2-1 in front of almost 100,000 spectators at Wembley.
That was the last time Villa lifted the trophy.
News has reached social media, where users have shared their memories of Sims.
Tom Ross: Sad to read that Villa’s 1957 FA Cup final goalkeeper Nigel Sims has passed away- he also played for Wolves
Andy Turnstile: Very sad to hear of the passing of another Villa legend Nigel Sims. Ironic that Nigel passed away on FA Cup day & he also played for @theposhofficial @cjohnabb wrote a brilliant book on Nigel some yrs ago & l got to meet Nigel at the launch. A true gentleman RIP Nigel
Susie Barnsby: Lost 2 ex @AVFCOfficial players this week Nigel Sims and Alan Deakin. Condolences to their families: puts things into perspective.
Peter McCann: Sorry to hear about nigel sims , goalie on my first ever visit to villa park! #RIPnigel
Nigel B6: Nigel Sims RIP; 57 FA Cup winner and Another Holte Ender in the Sky.
Colin Cutts: Sad news this. Fine Keeper.
Alex Males: R.I.P. NIGEL SIMS Sad news that Villa’s 1957 FA Cup final keeper Nigel Sims has sadly passed away.
Greg Phillips: Only 2 players still alive from starting line up of FA CuP 57 final – Mcparland for @AVFCOfficial and Charlton for @ManUtd RIP Nigel Sims.
Chris Kavanagh: looking like a black armband day with the passing of former Villa 1957 FA cup winner, Nigel Sims early today
David Summers: Sad news about Nigel Sims passing away. Our last FA Cup winning goalkeeper. Shame we couldn’t have honoured his memory with something a little better than yesterday
HVLegion: Aston Villa’s 1957 FA Cup final keeper Nigel Sims has passed away. RIP Nigel.
Lions and Legends: RIP NIGEL SIMS We have just been informed that Villa’s 1957 FA Cup final keeper Nigel Sims has passed away. RIP Nigel.
Nigel Underwood: RIP Nigel. My dad always said I was named after him.
Sims’ Villa story
Nigel arrived at Villa Park in March 1956, he made his debut in a 2-0 win at home to Burnley and stayed in the team. In Villa’s remaining nine games of the 1955/56 season they lost only two. Nigel kept five clean sheets and this was in an era where the game was based on attack.
Sims went on to make 310 appearances between the posts for Villa (only Nigel Spink has played more in goal). As well as the obvious one – the 1957 FA Cup final victory, he won Second Division title honours in 1959/60, the League Cup triumph the following year and League Cup runners-up in 1963.
Nigel was the first Villa player to be awarded the ‘Terrace Trophy’ voted by the supporters. He played for Young England and also represented the Football League. At his prime, Juventus, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle United all wanted to land the big keeper’s signature.
A book about his footballing memories, titled In Safe Hands, was published in August 2012.