Monday, November 29, 2021
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Career Advice for Retired Footballers

Iniesta Wine (courtesy of Rivers of Wine)Retiring a multimillionaire in your mid-thirties may be the dream for most. But spare a thought for those former top-flight footballers now rattling around their mock-Tudor mansions. Wiling away their days deciding whether to take out the Bugatti or the Bentley and which of their eight bathrooms to use.



Legions of their predecessors have proven that neither intellect nor aptitude should be a significant barrier to a career in punditry. Similarly low hurdles often stand in the way of a job as a manager. But being good at playing football doesn’t always translate to the ability to analyse, strategise and elucidate.


There are those, however, who have forged their own path. Contrary to initial expectations there are industries where doors are open and skills – although not immediately obvious how – may be transferable.


So unless you want to end up working the nightshift at Tesco like Brett Angell, choose a bathroom lads, lacquer your hair and pop in a diamond earring. It’s time to see what’s out there.

Religious Pursuits

Footballers are a generally pious bunch so perhaps it’s no surprise that many pursue a career as an intermediary for the Big Man Upstairs’ once their playing days are over.


Alan Comfort heard God’s calling early, training as an Anglican vicar as a youth player at Cambridge United. Following a career that included stints at Leyton Orient and Middlesbrough, Comfort went on to become vicar at churches in Chadwell Heath, Epping and Chelmsford.


Comfort’s evangelical biblical teachings did, however, eventually lead to controversy with him having to resign his post at Great Baddow due to “Theological differences” with the congregation.


Less averse to his firebrand rhetoric are Leyton Orient F.C. where Comfort maintains his role as club chaplain.


Former Chelsea player Gavin Peacock went from preaching the virtues of stopping crosses as a BBC pundit to being all for for them as Missions Pastor and Elder at the Calvary Grace Church in Calgary in Canada.


Already thinking about their respective futures, Kaka has long mooted the idea of becoming a preacher when he hangs up his boots and Radamel Falcao is Youth Group leader at the Evangelical Church in Buenos Aires where he met his wife.


A taste for the finer things in life? The winemaker is the creator, the artiste. Unlike the beer swilling baseness of defenders or the crude efficiency of strikers knocking back shots, the midfield winemaker requires guile and nuance. Within this vintage we see David Ginola and his award-winning Coste Brulade rosé as well as the more subtle tones of Andrés Iniesta’s Bodega Iniesta range.

The Sciences

The paths between scientific endeavour and the football pitch may not be immediately obvious but delve a little deeper and surprisingly enough they do exist.


Take one time ankle snapping Everton midfielder Barry Horne. With a first-class degree in Chemistry from the University of Liverpool under his belt, Horne currently teaches Chemistry and Physics at King’s School in Chester as well as acting as the school’s Director of Football.


Another midfielder light on nuance, Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini has spent the past decade investing in and developing an alternative fuel source through his company GF Biochemicals.


Flamini’s company has pioneered various alternative fuel production techniques and has become the first company in the world that can mass produce Levulinic Acid (otherwise known as 4-oxopentanoic acid CH3C(O)CH2CH2CO2H), a molecule identified by US Department of Energy as a potential replacement for oil.


The ability to mass produce Levulinic Acid opens up a market worth up to £20bn as well as potentially saving the world from environmental armageddon. Reports that Flamini’s real objective is to undermine the oil wealth of Chelsea and Manchester City and is working as an agent for Arséne Wenger remain unconfirmed.


A clinical edge and being goal-orientated are attributes of any decent striker – and, so it would seem, any would be property developer if these net-busting magnates are anything to go by.


Touchline snorting scally, aka God to the people of Liverpool, Robbie Fowler’s buy-to-let empire is the stuff of legend. From terrace chants of “We all live in a Robbie Fowler house” (to the tune of Yellow Submarine), to seminars at the Robbie Fowler Property Academy, the Toxteth sharp-shooter has got every base covered.


Like an Argentinian Robbie Fowler only better, former Fiorentina and Roma striker Gabriel Batistuta also runs his own construction company having overcome a desire to have his legs cut off once his playing days were over.


Add to the list Manchester City legend Shaun Goater who now literally walks his own path as director of a road laying company in his native Bermuda.


And finally, not content with inventing the Dube, his very own percussion instrument, Dion Dublin’s face will be familiar to the old, the infirm and the unemployed with the former Manchester United striker currently doing a turn in front of the camera on daytime TV classic Homes Under the Hammer.

Animal Husbandry

There are a whole host of racehorse owning footballers – Michael Owen owns the successful Manor House Stables and Mick Channon and Micky Quinn are both successful trainers in their own right.


The following former players have, however, kicked the cliche to touch and forged their own path between man and beast. From being charged with Grievous Bodily Harm and affray to on-pitch brawls with his own teammates, a degree of mania always lurked not far beneath Lee Bowyer’s eyes.


Perhaps looking to assuage his anger, Bowyer now wiles away his days on the carp fishing lake he owns and runs in the Champagne region of France.


In time honoured fashion Julian Dicks initially opened a pub upon retirement – the Shepherd and Dog just outside Colchester – before moving on to open a chain of dog kennels. Dog-loving Dicks, who had 13 English Bull Terriers of his own, lost the kennels as part of a fractious divorce settlement and is now first team coach at West Ham.



Last but not least is Fulham’s record goalscorer Gordon Davies, who started his post-football career as a pest control officer for Rentokil. Having learnt the ropes in the extermination game, Davies went on to start his own pest control company in Northamptonshire.

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