I’m an Arsenal and Sky Sports legend and people still call me by my nickname – even though it’s completely inappropriate

ARSENAL legend Charlie Nicholas has revealed people still call him “Champagne Charlie”, 40 years on from the origin of the nickname.

Former Scottish forward Nicholas, 61, scored 54 goals in 184 games for the Gunners across a five-year spell in North London during the 1980s.

Charlie Nicholas was often known by his nickname ‘Champagne Charlie’Getty

He spent 20 years as a Sky Sports pundit after his playing careerPA

He joined after winning two Scottish Premiership titles with Celtic.

And it was during his time with The Hoops that he acquired the tag of “Champagne Charlie”.

After he netted his 30th goal of the season during the 1982/83 campaign – where he would end up scoring 48 times – he was greeted in the dressing room with two celebratory crates of Moet & Chandon.

Manager Billy McNeill was quick to point out they were actually for the entire dressing room – not just Nicholas.

The forward, who ended up with just one bottle, went on to explain that he didn’t even like Champagne… but the name somehow stuck.

Speaking to The Mail, he said: “A cheap hit, a throwaway line that became an image.

“I never liked Champagne. I couldn’t afford it when I started on £30 a week at Celtic with a tenner of that going for my digs. Try living on champagne with £20 a week. It’s unfeasible.

“I took that bottle home for my Mum and Dad. They didn’t like it, either. It sat in the cupboard for years and gathered dust.”

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Nicholas also played for the likes of Celtic and AberdeenNews Group Newspapers Ltd

Nicholas, who now admits he is a fan of Champagne, would go on to play for Arsenal and Aberdeen, before he enjoyed a second stint at Celtic.

He retired in 1996 after one season with Clyde and then spent 20 years as a pundit on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday alongside the likes of Jeff Stelling, Paul Merson, Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier.

But the “Champagne Charlie” nickname continued to be thrown his way decades on from his time at Celtic.

He went on to add: “You’d be amazed how many people come up to me in England and go, ‘All right Champagne, how are you?’ And they don’t know me as a footballer. They know me from TV.

“The boys on Soccer AM always liked to think I was still Champagne Charlie, with the girls chasing me. They loved it.

“I’d be like, ‘No, hang on, I’m in my 60s’.”

Nicholas’ only trophy at Arsenal was a League Cup which came in 1987.

Unfortunately for the Scot, the Gunners won the First Division in the first season after his departure in 1989.

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