Former Aston Villa goalkeeper Nigel Sims has passed away. Sims was part of the 1957 FA Cup winning Villa side that beat Matt Busby’s Manchester United side, 2-1.
Sims joined Villa in 1956, making his debut in a 2-1 win over Burnley. Second only to Nigel Spinks in terms of appearances, Sims lined out on 310 occasions for Villa, suffering relegation with the side in 1959, before helping the team gain promotion the following season. In 1964, Sims left the club on a free transfer.
Sims death on January 6th, means that Peter McParland is the only surviving member of that FA Cup winning side.
Sims was born in Derbyshire, and started his career with Staffordshire based side Stapenhill FC. From there he moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1948, and stayed with the club until his move to Villa Park in 1956. A two-year spell at Peterborough followed his departure form Villa. After that he saw out his playing days in Toronto.
In April 2012, Sims brought out his autobiography, “In Safe Hands.”
When promoting his book, Sims spoke to Aston Villa TV and looked back on his days with the club fondly. “We were all mates we were, that’s a great side, we won lots of things.”
And on McPartland, who scored both goals in the FA Cup win, he said: “He was a great player, honestly and he got some great, great goals. In the final, the two goals he got were absolutely magnificent.”
Also magnificent were the performance’s Sims put in for Villa during his 8 years at the club.