Nigel Callaghan

Nigel Callaghan
Personal information
Full name Nigel Ian Callaghan
Date of birth (1962-09-12) 12 September 1962
Place of birth Singapore
Playing position Right winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1987 Watford 221 (41)
1987–1989 Derby County 76 (10)
1989–1992 Aston Villa 26 (1)
1990Derby County (loan) 12 (1)
1991Watford (loan) 12 (1)
1991Huddersfield Town (loan) 8 (0)
Stafford Rangers
–1994 Hellenic
Total 355 (54)
National team
1982–1984 England U21 9 (0)
1984 England B 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Nigel Ian Callaghan (born 12 September 1962) is a former professional footballer.

Playing career

Callaghan played on the right-wing for a number of clubs including; Watford, Derby County and Aston Villa. Internationally, he represented England at Under-21 level and played one game for England B in November 1984 (alongside fellow Watford player Luther Blissett).[1] Callaghan came on as a half time substitute to take part in a 2-0 win against a full New Zealand side.

Whilst at Watford, he played in the 1984 FA Cup Final where they lost to Everton. He had broken into their first team during the 1980–81 season and helped them win promotion to the First Division a year later. He also helped them finish second in the league in 1983. In total, he played 223 league games for the Hornets and scored 41 goals, before being transferred to Derby County in February 1987.

He scored four goals in 18 Second Division games for the Rams in the 1986–87 season as they cruised to the division championship and a return to the First Division after seven years away.

Callaghan was ever present for Derby as they secured their top flight status in 1987–88, and he began the 1988–89 season well as Derby emerged as surprise title challengers (though they eventually had to settle for a fifth-place finish). He scored twice in 18 league games before moving to Aston Villa in February 1989 and making 16 league appearances for them (scoring once) as they secured their First Division survival a year after promotion. He played just eight games for Villa the following season, however, as they finished second and were beaten to the league title by Liverpool.

He played just twice in the 1990–91 season and was loaned back to Derby County. He also had loan spells with Huddersfield Town and Watford before new manager Ron Atkinson finally gave him a free transfer at the end of the 1991–92. Aged still only 29, his professional career was over, although he did continue playing for a while at non league level with Stafford Rangers.


Callaghan retired from football to work as a DJ.[2][3] While working in a Greek night-club during the late-90's he was featured on a television documentary. He currently lives in Stafford.


In November 2009 Callaghan was diagnosed with bowel cancer.[4] An operation to remove the main tumour was undertaken in January 2010, however, some traces of cancer had moved elsewhere into his body and he subsequently faced a course of chemotherapy, which started in late March 2010. In September 2010 it was announced that a benefit match between former stars of two of Callaghan's old teams Derby County F.C. and Watford F.C. would take place at Pride Park Stadium during the close season.

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup Total
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
England League FA Cup Total
1980–81WatfordSecond Division21200212
1982–83First Division41900419
1986–87Derby CountySecond Division18400184
1987–88First Division40400404
1988–89Aston VillaFirst Division16100161
1990–91Derby County (loan)First Division12100121
1990–91Watford (loan)Second Division12100121
1991–92Aston VillaFirst Division200020
1991–92Huddersfield Town (loan)Third Division800080
1992–93Aston VillaPremier League000000
Total England 355540035554
Career total 355540035554


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