Being a top-flight footballer is to be appraised by thousands of demanding spectators every week. These individuals get their hit of adrenaline and quite like a stand-up comedian, their sense of self-esteem is dependent upon the often capricious, yet sometimes stirring and exhilarating approval of their public.
Many turn to management and coaching and other football-related roles. We want to look at some of those footballers who have looked elsewhere….
Thomas Hassler – the German midfielder turned his skills to the turntables; he founded the MTM record label in 1996. Proceeds from one of the record label’s albums were given to victims of September 11th.
George Weah – Now a politician in his native Liberia, he narrowly missed out on becoming president there in 2005. The country opted for its first female president instead. He has indicated that he may run for office again.
Gavin Peacock – The smiling former Chelsea, Newcastle and QPR player could play midfield and forward. Peacock’s penchant for crosses has endured, he is now studying to become either a pastor, vicar or minister in Canada. Peacock can rightly be proud of his career. Amen.
David James – Humanity James could be a new nickname for the former Liverpool, Aston Villa and Manchester City goalkeeper. A visitor to Malawi in 2005, he witnessed the AIDS epidemic and subsequently has been involved in raising awareness for this cause. The David James foundation is involved in training young people to acquire skills in mechanics and building work. James is also a Special Olympics global ambassador. James has been known to dabble with painting and is an art lover. He writes for the Observer and donates his payment to charity.
Ruel Fox now owns a bar/restaurant in Ipswich and works as a personal trainer for Ipswich Harrier under 7s running club.
Luis Figo also owns an upscale bar/restaurant in the Algarve, Portugal. It has been rumoured that he may return briefly to playing. A lucrative stint in Australia has been discussed. Otherwise Figo is involved with the STOP TB partnership and Inter Campus, a football charity aimed at developing young footballers.
Phillipe Albert owns a successful fruit and veg company in Belgium and works as a pundit for Belgian television.
Peter Bonetti – The former Chelsea goalkeeper known as “The Cat” worked as a postman on the Isle of Mull. We’re tempted to rename him Postman Cat.
Gordon Davies who played for Fulham and Wales now works as a pest-control expert
Socrates – the football philosopher was one of the most accomplished players the game has known. He qualified as a medical doctor while playing the game professionally. He advocated Democracy for his native Brazil and was a figurehead for popular activism.