Injured Alex Nicholls delivered the team talk that inspired the Cobblers to their 3-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
Nicholls, who is facing up to nine months on the sidelines following the terrible double break he endured in scoring the first goal of the 2-0 win over Port Vale last month, returned to Sixfields to receive his player of the month award for October, an award he also won in August and September.
The striker was given a guard of honour by all the Cobblers players, coaching and medical staff as he walked onto the pitch on crutches, and was given a rousing standing ovation from all four sides of the stadium.
The travelling Wycombe fans joined in with the home support’s chant of ‘there’s only one Alex Nicholls’, and it was an emotional moment for the player, who tweeted after the game: “WOW, what a reception from players/staff/fans.
“I’m truly overwhelmed and had to fight back the tears. You will inspire me to recover quicker!
“THANK YOU to everyone for your well wishes and support, utterly AMAZING.”
And after the game, Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd revealed that it was the former Walsall man who had given the players their pre-match team talk, and that it had been an inspiring moment.
“Every player will do a team talk at some stage before we go out for a game, and on Saturday it was Alex,” said Boothroyd.
“It was excellent and it was very, very inspiring and motivating.
“And you could see how highly that Alex is thought of within the squad by the way everybody supported him before the game.”
Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrated both of his goals in the victory by going over to Nicholls, who was sitting by the home dugout, and by showing off the striker’s number 14 shirt to the crowd.
It is clear Nicholls is a popular player in the Sixfields ranks, and Boothroyd was delighted with the reception the player got at the weekend.
“Alex was a big part of Saturday. He has won player of the month again, and it might be just as well he’s got injured or he might be upsetting the rest of the lads because he has won the last three,” he joked.
“But when a player breaks his leg for you as a manager, and for the team, that goal that he scored against Port Vale, a lot of people would have avoided that.
“But Alex is such a fantastic person, as well as a talented footballer.
“It was quite right that we gave him a standing ovation before the game because he has earned that, and when he comes back and raring to go, we want the team and club to be in a much better and stronger position.”