We all know the footballers who after a hard career hang up their boots and either retire to a quiet life or being omnipresent on TV giving their opinion on all matters football. However, sometimes players don’t get that far and their football careers are left behind. This trip down memory lane looks at 5 players in the game who have gone on to something a little bit different.
Nicky Byrne – Pop irritant
Nicky Byrne is best known for being part of the annoyingly popular Westlife during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. However, before learning to stand up from a stool in unison with his mates, Nicky was on the books of Leeds United…as a goalkeeper. He was however released in 1997 for being too short and starts the game on a free transfer. For some reason, he is set as a right midfielder, but perhaps this was always his dream as Nicky went on to play on the wing in several charity matches including last year’s Soccer Aid, where he even scored. So if you’re a Westlife fan, go and sign this young Irishman up and maybe at the same time you’ll prevent Westlife from ever happening.
Scott Minto – Spanish Football Presenter
Just think those words through for a minute. Do you remember Scott Minto playing football? Me neither. Yet somehow this guy has found his way to presenting coverage of Barcelona and Real Madird every week. What’s more is, he’s really quite good at it. So whilst Gary Lineker, England’s second top goal scorer of all time, presents Match of the Day, Scott Minto, formerly of Charlton and Rotherham, presents La Liga on Sky Sports. Good lad. To be fair, Minto won the FA Cup with Chelsea in 1997 and was part of Graeme Souness’ Benfica revolution shortly thereafter, but he’s forged a totally new career for himself as a presenter rather than the traditional pundit route.
Jeff Brazier – TV Personality
Like Nicky Byrne, Jeff Brazier is available for nothing when the game starts so maybe you can build the career that never was. Brazier was on the books at Leyton Orient but never made it to the first team before his release, though at least he can say he was in Championship Manager, which is something. Anyway, Brazier has gone on to present various daytime TV shows on ITV and, how can we forget, won Channel 5 reality show The Farm in September 2004.
Vinny Jones – Hollywood Hardman
Before Vinny Jones was a Film star, he was a rock in Wimbledon’s midfield and won the FA Cup in 1988. He was a midfield hard man, known for trying to kick the opposition out of the game or send a physical message – you’ll all have seen the picture of Vinny grabbing Gazza by the balls. He also holds the record for the quickest booking (3 seconds) and 9 caps for Wales, though as you can see in my screenshot the game obviously fancied him a bit more than the actual Welsh manager. Since retiring though, Jones’ career has really taken off, starring in film’s such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Gone in 60 seconds and Mean Machine plus many others. Vinnie also released al album called Respect but that was less impressive.
Gavin Peacock – Pastor
Gavin Peacock enjoyed a decent career, turning out over 100 times each for Newcastle, Chelsea and QPR before retiring and moving into punditry. In the game, Peacock starts at Divison 1 QPR and is a handy midfield option, having been a Premier League player just a couple of seasons earlier with Chelsea. However, after retiring and growing tired of the punditry game, Peacock spread his wings and started to promote faith in the game, going on to present Songs of Praise on the BBC before moving to Canada to study to become a minister. According to wikipedia, Gavin is currently an Elder and Pastor at Calvary Grace Church in Calgary.
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