Highgate firefighter wins European Fire Service Football Championships with Team GB

Crew Manager Alex Nicholls was part of the winning UK Fire Service squad at the recent tournament in France.

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Published on 8 May 2024

Alex Nicholls, a former professional footballer at Walsall, hung up his boots for a new career with West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) in 2021.  

Now, he’s helped Britain’s national firefighting side win the European Fire Service Championship.  

After starting with the WMFS team, Alex began playing for the England combined service side around nine months ago. That led to the call-up for this tournament, bringing together the best players from services across England and Scotland.  

The European showpiece featured a team each from France, Germany and Great Britain, with each nation playing each other twice in sixty-minute matches. 

Alex Nicholls holds the European Championships Trophy

A narrow 2-1 defeat to France in their opener saw the UK Fire Service side start on the backfoot, but two successive 1-0 wins and a win by the same scoreline in the final against Germany saw them win the competition.  

After returning to England with the title, Alex said: “The results meant that the last game, the UK against Germany, was a proper decider based on the points total. Typically, someone missed a penalty for us against the Germans!

“Playing again was something I thought I would never do again, really. I felt like I had turned my back on football when I started with the fire service, just because I wanted to put all my effort into the new role.  

“But it’s lit the spark in me again, and representing Britain now as part of the fire service in football was a real dream come true.” 

United Kingdom Team pose with the European Championships Trophy 2024