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Wrestler, Actor, Detective? Top five unusual post-football careers

| 09.12.2013

While coaching and punditry remain the go-to careers for footballers forced to acknowledge the effects of time and hang up their boots, a number of players are shunning those well-trodden paths in favour of something a bit more exciting.

The latest former pro to break the mould is Port Vale and Burton Albion goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson who in his own words is “Swapping two posts and a net, with four posts and ropes” as he embarks on a new career … as a WWE wrestler.

Here we take a look at the top five post-football career choices:

1)     Vinnie Jones – Actor

While the former Wimbledon hard man is never likely to bother the Oscar judging panel in the same way he bothered Paul Gascoigne’s nether regions, Jones has carved a hugely successful career as an actor since taking the industry by surprise in 1998’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Vinnie has now starred in some 74 projects of varying quality, but with 10 films coming out in the next year and a day job that sees him rub shoulders with the likes of Sly Stallone and Brad Pitt a spot next to Alan Hansen on the MOTD sofa looks positively stale in comparison.

2)     Arjan De Zeeuw – Detective

Defender De Zeeuw experienced many highs in the English top flight, running out over 200 times for Wigan and Portsmouth and contesting a League Cup final against Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.

However, when the time came to call it a day the Dutchman turned down a spot on Swansea’s coaching staff for a life as a crime fighter in his homeland. De Zeeuw is now solving cases as a bona fide detective in Alkmaar, but manages to keep his fitness up by captaining the Netherlands national police team.

3)      David Ginola – Vintner

The silky French winger has taken the punditry route on occasion but wayward hand gestures mean he is unlikely to earn a permanent spot on any channel (especially BT).

Modelling and management offers have fallen in his path but instead the former Newcastle and Spurs man has taken to making wine – and good wine at that.

Making his debut at the International Wine Challenge in 2008, Ginola was awarded a silver medal for his Coste Brulade 2007 Rose, from his vineyard in Cotes de Provence.

3)     Tomas Brolin – Entrepreneur

Swedish Maestro Brolin earned rave reviews for club and country while at Parma but failed to live up to hype in spells at Leeds and Crystal Palace.

And while the forward was dubbed ‘bloated’ in the latter part of his career he has been anything other than lazy in retirement.

Perhaps unsurprisingly food provided Brolin with his first post-football outlet, with a string of restaurants, including Stockholm’s Undici, across Sweden.

He has also made a living from selling a variety of goods from vacuum cleaner attachments to skin care products.

5)      Thomas Gravesen – Professional Lad

Having racked up 200+ appearances at Everton, Real Madrid and Celtic many say Gravesen ‘punched above his weight’ professionally.

This won’t bother the combative Dane and he will be more than happy to accept the same label in retirement.

After hanging up his boots, the midfielder invested wisely in the financial market and is currently enjoying a ‘second retirement’ playing blackjack and roulette with his £82m fortune in playboy’s paradise Las Vegas, where he lives with his model girlfriend!



James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.