Sixer’s Sentiments: farewell to Nyron and good luck at Watford

Pete Sixsmith says a fond goodbye to a Sunderland legend …

Private Eye’s resident poet, E J Thribb, aged 17½, may well have eulogised Nyron thus:

So farewell then,
Nyron Nosworthy
You have completed your transfer to Watford
After seven years at the Stadium of Light
Although some of that time was spent
At Sheffield United on loan.

Our longest serving player has finally left us, over two years after his last, disastrous, performance at Eastlands, where he was so appalled by the gnome-like appearance of one Craig Bellamy that he refused to go anywhere near him.

As final performances go, it wasn’t exactly Olivier going out as Lear, more Reg Varney reprising Stan Butler from On The Buses, and it made Steve Bruce, and those of us there, realise that Nyron’s Premier League career was over.

He was the last of Mick McCarthy’s players to leave us and severed the link with the 15 point side that brought us so much angst and embarrassment in 2006. Along with Andy Gray, Jonathan Stead, Christian Basilla, Anthony Le Tallec and Calamity Kelvin Davies (who has rebuilt his career at Southampton), he joined a club that had relegation stamped all over it in July.

One of his earliest appearances in a Sunderland shirt was in a rare (one of three) win at Middlesbrough, where goals from Julio Arca and Tommy Miller (honest – I am not making that up!!) saw us break our duck. Nyron had performed creditably at full back, but with 10 minutes or so left, made possibly the longest and worst back pass in the history of humanity.

As the ball went out for a Boro corner, the cameras homed in on Mick McCarthy who shook his head in wonderment at such a ball. That feeling was to stay with us for the next three seasons.

Under Roy Keane, he improved dramatically and became a competent centre half, who won Player of the Year and had the Amy Winehouse song Rehab dedicated to him. I well remember singing it on Barnsley railway station after an important 2-0 win there; it was my introduction to the music of Ms Winehouse and was accompanied by a glorious Barnsley chav, complete with Staffie, on the opposite platform.

On the return to the Premier League, he coped well and the “Nuggsy Turn” was a huge improvement on the one done by some Dutch geezer from the 1970s whose name escapes me at the moment. Nyron was an integral part of Roy Keane’s team and clearly Keane had a great influence on him.

For a Brixton boy, used to playing in the lower leagues with Gillingham, lining up alongside the likes of Dwight Yorke, Djibril Cisse and Daryl Murphy (well, maybe not that), must have been a great experience and shows what good management skills can do for a player’s confidence.

With the departure of Keane and the arrival of Steve Bruce, Nyron’s star waned and he played a mere 10 games before he was packed off to Sheffield United in February 2010. He spent the rest of that season with The Blades and returned the following season, but was unable to prevent them slipping into Division One.

Back he came to the SoL and off he trotted again, this time to Watford, where he has now signed a permanent deal. They seem very pleased to have him and I cannot imagine that any Sunderland fan will do less than wish this most wholehearted of players every success as he swaps the Black Cats for The Hornets.

Thanks for the memories Nuggsy.

12 thoughts on “Sixer’s Sentiments: farewell to Nyron and good luck at Watford”

  1. Pete
    Great piece and really made me laugh.NN is a bit of an enigma.Just the mention of his name makes most Sunderland fans smile.You just never knew what to expect from him when he got possession of the ball.Most of us awaited with baited breath,he’d either do something fantastic or just boot it into the middle of nowhere.Can ever a player have had such a wide range of ability from the sheer brilliant to absolutley hapless….how is that even possible?

    The one thing you can say about him was that he was NEVER boring.

    Good luck to him at Watford hope he enjoys his time there.

  2. Ok, i realise i am sounding a bit obsessed with Nuggsy here, but i found this on a Watford local paper’s website, on the comment section:

    ‘Brilliant news……..All together on Saturday: “They tried to get the ball past Nyron, but he said ‘No, no no!'””
    Right, he has clearly been spreading the word in Watford town centre that that is his song…… Neeeeee way were their fans aware of that ‘famous’ rendition. Hardly a ‘Wise men say’ classic Sunderland song is it?

  3. And he was released by a relegated Gillingham side before we ‘snapped’ him up. He must personify the un-ruthless side of the ‘ruthless world of football’.

  4. The most ironic cult hero EVER!!!!! My first memory of him was the ball being worked across the back, from left to right, him receiving it and being roared forward by the crowd. He proceeded to get his head down and aim for the space the size of th old Vaux site, and run the ball over the touchline, unchallenged, to concede a throw in. It was too funny and crap to boo him so everybody laughed. He was bad. Evans composure and the confidence of being in a winning team gave him that one, tiny period where he looked capable. He won player of the season due to his significant improvement masking his actual standard of performance, in my opinion. And my opinion is always right, i predicted Patrick Mbomba was going to be a 20 goal-a-season man for us! So long ‘Nuggsy’, i will kind of miss the comedy.

    • Didn’t Roy Keane say something like “moving him from full back to centre back means he has a lot less time on the ball, which is better for all concerned” ?

  5. Geoff – Noz did score, in Portugal. I watched it on the TV, and thought we’d signed a mystery forward.
    I remember his Mam approaching a seller of A Love Supreme at Southend (when a Mr T/Nyron hybrid adorned the cover) and asking “what you done with my boy?”
    A proper character, Noz, so all the best to him

  6. Yes Pete,he got nowhere near Bellamy in that game,even for the penalty decision which our old friend Mr.Marriner somehow saw as a trip.Not one of our best ever players but a 100% trier with a great attitude and I wish him well, being pleased by the success Watford have had since his loan.

  7. EJ Thribb (171/2) may also have penned:
    So farewell, then, Noz
    You did the Nuggsy turn and was
    Guardian of the gates of Nozanteum.
    ‘They shall not pass’ you said.
    But sometimes they did.

    One of my favourite players for reasons I can’t quite work out. I remember on one of my too few visits to the Sol that he carried the ball out of defence and did a body swerve that had the whole East Stand lean the wrong way. If only he could have scored, just once. He nearly did in the Peterborough friendly and I was right behind the goal – but sadly, not to……(cont on p94).

  8. Nuggsy was/is a whole hearted player who was/is effective at Championship/old Div 2 level. In the top flight the better standard often found him out. It was looking as if MON was thinking we might need him as cover for our injury (and possible legal procedings) ravaged defence but getting him off the payroll looks like good business to me.

    I wish him well.

  9. My abiding memory of Nuggsy is during the 15 point season. The match against Fulham having been abandoned because of snow, in the re-play he kept surging forward and inspired a win – the only one all season, at least at home. I’m sure somebody with more anoraks than I have can remind us (I only own walking jackets! Joan)

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