Nicholls made 483 first team appearances for the Cherry and Whites in a career that spanned 17 years, lifting the club's first trophy after a 17-6 victory over Moseley in the final of the 1972 national cup.
Following his retirement as a player, Nicholls served the club as a coach and a member of the committee.
A combative hooker, he led his club to a formidable record of 107 wins, 35 defeats and nine draws, but he was unable to cement an England place on account of the national team captain being hooker John Pullin, who played for rivals Bristol.
He is the first member of the 40-man RFU Cup winning side to pass away, and had been ill for some time.
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