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10 of football’s crazy career changes – wine to wrestling

Frank Monkhouse | 14 August 2017

Where are they now? It may surprise

Life after football often scares players. Kicking a ball is all most have ever known, and deciding what to do next has many at a loss. Washed up in your 30s – professional sport is a cruel mistress.

Some play it safe and stay in the game, managing or coaching, others look after players financially as agents, while a few are a bit more adventurous. From performing under the floodlights, to starring in the bright lights of Hollywood. Coral look at some of the strange ways former footballing greats have chosen to earn a living after retirement.

Olivier Tebily – Celtic

The Ivory Coast born defender peaked at Celtic between 1999 and 2002, but he also turned out for the likes of Sheffield United and Birmingham. The 41-year-old recently announced he has turned full-time winemaker, having bought a vineyard in Cognac back when he first turned professional.

Lee Bowyer – Leeds United

The Elland Road favourite is back in the game coaching at Charlton, but when first retiring the Londoner moved to France and opened a carp fishing lake – Etang de Bows. The former bad boy on the pitch caught the angling bug as a kid.

Curtis Woodhouse – Sheffield United

The footballing journeyman turned professional boxing champion. Woodhouse swapped the beautiful game for the noble art, and in some style, winning the British title and mixing it with some of the sport’s best, including Frankie Gavin, Willie Limond and Derry Matthews.

Vinnie Jones – Wimbledon

Perhaps one of the most successful job swaps, Vinnie Jones progressed from hard man of the pitch to hard man of the screen, carving out a very successful career in acting. Jones made his debut in Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Eric Cantona – Man Utd

Another tough guy who moved into showbusiness. The Frenchman tried his hand at beach football and painting, but is now known for his roles in a number of popular French films, and also starred in Ken Loach’s Looking For Eric (2009).

Ramon Vega – Tottenham

The Swiss defender had spells at Spurs, Celtic and Watford, before retiring in 2003. Less than 10 years later he was the founding member of Duet Group, a financial group specialising in asset management. The 46-year-old made an unsuccessful bid to buy Portsmouth.

Tim Wiese – Werder Bremen

The 6ft 4inch goalkeeper quit football, piled on the muscle and made a career as a professional wrestler in WWE. Having trained at the WWE Performance Center, on the say so of Triple H, he made a winning debut in November 2016.

Gavin Peacock – Chelsea

One of the stranger ones on the list, Gavin Peacock moved to Canada to become a Pastor. The 49-year-old from Eltham was once a popular face at the BBC, but packed it in to dedicate himself to his religion, saying he suddenly felt the call to be a preacher.

Philippe Albert – Newcastle

The Belgian defender swapped the apples and pears of London for the real thing, creating and running a very successful fruit and veg company in his homeland. Albert, loved by the Toon Army, runs his business alongside media work for Belgian TV.

Frank Leboeuf – Chelsea

The 49-year-old former defender was an idol at Stamford Bridge between 1996 and 2001, and still is. The charismatic Frenchman moved to LA, joined Hollywood FC and studied acting, describing it as his first passion. Featured in a number of French TV programmes.

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