Peter Nicol has enjoyed an illustrious squash career, achieving three ambitions he set himself some years ago - winning the British Open, reaching world No1, and becoming world champion.
In March 2001, he made headline news around the world when he announced that he was 'defecting' from his Scottish country of birth to become English!
Nicol's rise through the world squash rankings was little short of meteoric: He made his debut at 266 in January 1992. He raced to 52 by the following January, then rose to 14 twelve months later, moving into the top five by November of the same year, before hitting the No1 position in February 1998. In September 2004, he celebrated his 60th month as world No1, consolidating his status as the third most successful player of all-time, behind the great Khans Jahangir and Jansher.
Born in Inverurie, near Aberdeen in Scotland, the left-hander won his first PSA Tour title in 1992. By September 1994, he was competing in his first Super Series final - the Hong Kong Open, in which he lost to world No1 Jansher Khan.
It was in February 1998 that he became the first Briton ever to reach No1 in the PSA world rankings - thereby deposing his long-time rival Jansher Khan, who had held the position for an almost unbroken period of ten years.
As world No1, Nicol was top seed for the 1998 British Open for the first time. He cruised through to the final without dropping a game, then triumphantly beat Jansher in the final. Nicol achieved this historic success on his 25th birthday, trouncing Pakistan's six-times defending champion in straight games in front of a packed auditorium at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham to become the first Briton for 25 years to win the prestigious British Open title.
In the men's final of the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia in September 1998 - squash's triumphant debut in this prestigious multi-sport event - Nicol beat his long-time adversary Jonathon Power to take the first ever squash gold medal in a match screened live on TV in Britain and many countries around the world.
In September 1999, Nicol fulfilled his last remaining key goal in squash: It was his third successive appearance in the final, but on the famous open-air court erected on the desert sands by the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Nicol crushed local hero Ahmed Barada 15-9 15-13 15-11 to become World Open champion for the first time.
In the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, in July, Peter was seeded to become the first athlete to retain his singles gold medal - for a different country. He reached the final without dropping a game, but fell Power in the final, in four games, in his fourth successive loss to the Canadian in the year.
Nicol went on to partner Lee Beachill to gold medal success in the Men's Doubles - becoming the only person to win gold medals both in 1998 and 2002, and one of only two (with England's Cassie Jackman) to win two medals in each Games.
In 2005, Peter Nicol rediscovered his appetite for squash and, after racing through a top-class field in the World Games in Germany, he won the IOC-backed championship (a non-PSA event) - beating France's world No1 Thierry Lincou in the final - to claim the 50th major international title of his career.
A month later, Nicol registered another minor milestone in his career when he won the English Open trophy - collecting, for the first time in three attempts, the winner's cheque in the event his own promotions company Events Sports Marketing launched at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield two years earlier. The seemingly rejuvenated 32-year-old beat England team-mate Nick Matthew in the final - to celebrate his triumph without dropping a game in his second successive event!
By half way through the year, Nicol had dropped out of the world top four for the first time for almost a decade - but he continued to confound the seedings in major events, reaching the semi-finals of the British Open in September in Manchester after beating favourite Lincou in the quarter-finals, then making it through to the same stage of the World Open in Hong Kong, again after upsetting the Frenchman at the last eight stage.
Nicol reached the semi-finals of the British Nationals in February, losing to eventual champion, Nick Matthew.
Nicol's supreme achievements in squash were recognised in the most distinctive manner in June 1999 - when he was awarded an MBE ('Member of the British Empire') by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in the annual 'Queen's Birthday Honours'. He joins a distinguished group of squash players who have been similarly recognised in Britain - including Jonah Barrington, Lisa Opie, Martine le Moignan, Susan Devoy and Cassie Jackman.
Feb 06 Semi-finalist Canary Wharf Classic ENG
Mar 05 Finalist Sheika Al Saad Kuwait Squash Open KUW
Apr 05 Winner Mamut English Open ENG
Nov 05 Quarter-finalist Saudi International SAU
Apr 05 Semi-finalist Bermuda Masters BER
Oct 05 Semi-finalist British Open ENG
Feb 05 Quarter-finalist
*Tournament of Champions USA
Jan 05 Winner Dayton Open USA
Jan 05 1st round Windy City Open USA
Dec 04 Quarter-finalist *World Open QAT
Nov 04 Quarter-finalist Canadian Classic CAN
Sep 04 Runner-up US Open USA
Sep 04 2nd round *Hong Kong Open HKG
Aug 04 Semi-finalist English Open ENG
May 04 Qualifier *Super Series Finals ENG
Apr 04 Winner *PSA Masters QAT
Mar 04 Quarter-finalist Bermuda Open BER
Feb 04 Winner Tournament of Champions USA
Jan 04 Winner Kuwait Open KUW
Dec 03 Quarter-finalist *Qatar Classic QAT
Nov 03 Winner *Canadian Open CAN
Oct 03 (England No1) World Team Championships AUT
Oct 03 Runner-up British Open ENG
Sep 03 Winner US Open USA
Aug 03 Quarter-finalist Prince English Open ENG
Jun 03 Semi-finalist Spanish Open ESP
May 03 Semi-finalist *PSA Masters QAT
May 03 Runner-up *Super Series Finals ENG
Feb 03 Winner *Tournament of Champions USA
Feb 03 Winner British Nationals (non-PSA) ENG
Dec 02 Semi-finalist *World Open BEL
Nov 02 Runner-up Canadian Classic CAN
Nov 02 Winner *Qatar Classic QAT
Sep 02 Semi-finalist US Open USA
Sep 02 Winner *Hong Kong Open HKG
Aug 02 Gold medallist Commonwealth Games Menís Doubles ENG
Jul 02 Silver medallist Commonwealth Games Menís Singles ENG
Jun 02 3rd place *Super Series Finals ENG
Apr 02 Semi-finalist *PSA Masters QAT
Apr 02 Winner *British Open ENG
Mar 02 Runner-up *Pakistan Open PAK
Feb 02 Runner-up *Tournament of Champions USA
Jan 02 Winner US Open USA
Nov 01 Winner YMG Capital Classic CAN
Oct 01 Winner *Qatar Classic QAT
Sep 01 Winner *Al-Ahram International EGY
Jun 01 Winner Scottish Open SCO
Jun 01 Winner *Super Series Finals ENG
May 01 Winner Irish Open IRL
Feb 01 Winner *Tournament of Champions USA
Dec 00 Runner-up YMG Capital Classic CAN
Sep 00 Winner *Hong Kong Open HKG
Aug 00 Winner *Al-Ahram International EGY
Jun 00 Winner *Super Series Finals ENG
Mar 00 Winner *PSA Masters EGY
Mar 00 Winner Irish Open IRL
Mar 00 Winner *Flanders Open BEL
Dec 99 Runner-up *British Open SCO
Nov 99 Runner-up Heliopolis Open EGY
Sep 99 Winner *World Open EGY
Aug 99 Winner *Hong Kong Open HKG
Jun 99 Runner-up Libertel Open NED
May 99 Winner *Super Series Finals ENG
Jan 99 Winner Greenwich Open USA
Dec 98 Runner-up *World Open QAT
Nov 98 Winner Heliopolis Open EGY
Nov 98 Winner US Open USA
Oct 98 Winner Kuwait Open KUW
Sep 98 Bronze medallist Commonwealth Games Men's Doubles MAS
Sep 98 Gold medallist Commonwealth Games Men's Singles MAS
Aug 98 Runner-up *Hong Kong Open HKG
Apr 98 Winner *British Open ENG
Mar 98 Winner Austrian Open AUT
Dec 97 Winner *Mahindra International IND
Nov 97 Runner-up *Qatar International QAT
Nov 97 Runner-up *World Open MAS
Oct 97 Winner Kuwait Open KUW
Jun 97 Winner *Al-Ahram International EGY
Apr 97 Runner-up *British Open WAL
Mar 97 Runner-up Hungarian Open HUN
Jan 97 Winner Hartford Cup USA
Dec 96 Winner *Mahindra International IND
Oct 96 Runner-up US Open USA
Jan 96 Winner British Nationals (non-PSA) ENG
Dec 95 Winner *Mahindra International IND
Oct 95 Winner Canadian Open CAN
Nov 94 Winner US Open USA
Sep 94 Runner-up *Hong Kong Open HKG
Aug 94 Winner Singapore Open SIN
Aug 93 Winner Singapore Open SIN
Mar 93 Winner Danish Open DEN
Feb 93 Winner Vitafit Open GER
Nov 92 Winner Odense Open DEN
Aug 92 Winner Florida State Open USA
Aug 92 Winner Gotthelf's Rolex Vail Open
Aug 92 Winner Albuquerque Open USA
*Super Series events