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Champagne charlie Charlie Nicholas remembers his party days with George Best as he reveals his wages at Arsenal


Former Celtic star Charlie Nicholas

Former Celtic star Charlie Nicholas

Former Celtic star Charlie Nicholas

Former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas has told of how he became a party animal alongside George Best following his move to Arsenal in 1983.

Nicholas has long has a nickname of 'Champagne Charlie' as he become a regular on the London party scene following his move from Celtic and he told Paddy Power From the Horse's Mouth podcast that he may have allowed his taste for the good life to get the better of him.

"When I went to Arsenal, I ended up on £100,000 a year," said Nicholas, who left Celtic to seal the move to Arsenal. "Life changed a bit, and then I was introduced to the one and only George Best. Life became seriously interesting there as a young single guy. Champagne was definitely on the list, and so were a lot of other bad habits.

"I think I would have been probably exposed quite badly if there had been smartphones around back then. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that because of, as you know, mobile phones and whatever gadgets they can get. I could never have lived the way I did then.

"George Best had a share in a pub in London called Blondes believe it or not. I know that will surprise you. It was two guys from Manchester.

"Bestie used to get paid £500 a day to go in there, because the clientele, especially females that were coming in, would more than pay for George's time in there. You can imagine the media just having a frenzy in there with the mobile phones and just watching George.

"George was a shy man and a very humble guy, but they would expose you for whatever way that you can."

Nicholas went on to reveal his £100,000-a-year salary at Arsenal was hard to comprehend

"In London it was a vast world," he added, "It was a whole new world. They were throwing £10,000 at you for doing adverts wearing skimpy underwear and different things. What the hell did I know? I didn’t have an agent.

"I didn't have any understanding of life. I took the agenda and just went for it. I didn't really have any experience. I didn’t have any guidance. It was fun. It was stupid.

"Lots of different things that they keep you right when you're older – my daughters keep reminding me of the embarrassment that I put them to. But I had a great time. I don't deny that!"

Listen to the full podcast with Charlie Nicholas HERE

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Online Editors