Mike Nicholls made 483 first team appearances and 15 appearances for Gloucestershire in a career that spanned 17 years.
He was unlucky that he had to compete for his county place with England captain John Pullin. Mike was an England trialist and in the first trial of 1966 as reserve hooker, came off the bench to prop for the Blues against the Whites when both the regular props were injured.
A player who led from the front, the long serving hooker captained Gloucester for three seasons, 1970-71, 1971-72 and then again 1973-74.
Under his captaincy the team were a formidable unit, not always pretty to watch but very effective.
During the second year of his reign Gloucester collected their first ever domestic trophy, winning the National Knock-Out Cup by defeating Moseley 17-6 in the final at Twickenham.
In order to reach the final Gloucester had come through successive away ties at Bath, Bristol, London Welsh and Coventry - the last two rated the two top clubs in the country at the time.
Under Mike Nicholls' inspiring leadership the team consistently turned on performances on the big occasions.
Mike's career was at a pinnacle in the club's centenary season of 1973-74 when his team recorded a club record of 39 wins and scored 1000 points. Their 24-14 win against an International XV in the centenary match is remembered by all who were there.
The Gloucester playing record during the three years of his captaincy speaks for itself: P154 W107 L35 D9. He is regarded as one of the finest captains the club has known.
After retirement as a player, he continued to serve the club as a coach and as a long-serving member of the committee and continued to attend matches at Kingsholm on a regular basis.
Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.