Former prolific striker who shared a dressing room with Beckham is now a goal-setting coach and fundraiser for mental health advice

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

Ex-footballer Nicholas (Nicky) Michael Forster, renowned for his goalscoring exploits with English teams like Reading and Birmingham City and who once shared a dressing room with the legendary David Beckham for England U21s has embarked on Scotland’s famed NC500 journey. Now, instead of pursuing goals on the field, he’s championing a fresh perspective on mental health awareness.

After his illustrious playing career, Forster struggled with the transition out of professional sport, an experience felt by many of his peers. Many face the mental toll, the ‘wolves of mental health’, as Forster describes it, as they grapple with life beyond the pitch. But in his efforts to keep these wolves at bay, he’s found a new passion— running.

Nicky now helps others reach their goals

Football fanatics may be wondering, why the NC500 route? With its expansive stretches along Scotland’s coastline, this scenic circuit is set to serve as both an inspiration and a challenge. As a gesture of solidarity with the 35% of the population who grapple with mental health issues and with the 1 in 15 who attempt suicide, Forster plans to conquer the 516-mile route. That’s 15 ultramarathons in 15 days. A mind-boggling 35 miles a day!

He’s not just doing this for his own healing but also to raise a whopping £500,000 for Mental Health UK. In a heartfelt letter, Forster has thrown the gauntlet to every professional football player and club in England, urging them to contribute to his cause. If his plan plays out, a significant portion of his fundraising goal will come from the footballing world itself.

The stats he presents are staggering:

  • Every Premier League player could contribute £200, which with club matching, could raise up to £240,000.
  • The Championship could chip in £120,000, League One £48,000, and League Two £24,000. This would total a staggering £432,000.
Nicky is trekking the North Coast 500 on foot to share uplifting insights about mental health.

But beyond the numbers, the real story is about transformation. From a revered footballer to a runner, from a player to a coach, Forster has navigated his journey of self-discovery. Now a goal-setting coach, he emphasises the essence of dreams evolving into intentions, then plans, and ultimately manifesting as a part of one’s identity.

His message is clear and resounding: “The results of tomorrow rely on the actions of today.” And with his journey on the NC500, Forster is taking that monumental step towards a brighter, mentally healthier tomorrow for himself and many others.

The world of football has always been a place of dreams and inspiration. With Forster’s mission, it’s not just about the goals scored on the pitch but the personal goals achieved and the lives impacted beyond it.

You can learn about Nicky Forster’s fund-raising and coaching at his website,

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