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I got my first pair of football boots at 4 years old

and knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a professional footballer.

My mum and dad have always been very supportive.

They would drive me all over the country and they loved watching me play football just as much as I loved playing.

I will be forever grateful to them for giving me the best opportunity to help me achieve my dream.

With lots of hard work, dedication, belief, and a supportive family around me

I began to turn that dream into a reality. 

I met my wife Laura at high school and we have been together since the age of 15.

We have moved all over the country together and she has always put me and my career first. I couldn’t have fulfilled my dream of playing in the Premier League without her unwavering love, encouragement and support.

We also have two wonderful daughters, Halle and Grace.

They make me proud every day and always know how to put a smile on my face.

My family have played a huge part in my success story so far – they inspire and motivate me to push myself on a daily basis. 

As a family, we love making memories and sharing special times together.

We love travelling, going on days out, playing sports, long walks and trying new coffee shops and restaurants.

Throughout my career as a professional footballer

I worked my way up from the Conference to the Premier League, spending 4 years at the top with AFC Bournemouth. I am one of few to have scored in all top 5 divisions in English football.

Over the course of my career, I got released twice and told I wasn’t good enough on numerous occasions.

This obviously fuelled the fire and made me even more determined to make it to the top and prove the doubters wrong.

In 2013 after being promoted to the Championship

I found myself pondering how I could improve my performances on the pitch and speed up my recovery between games.

It is all about improving those small percentages on a daily basis

I was always regimented with my strength training, core, yoga, mobility, extras after training and recovery. The only thing I was slightly overlooking was my nutrition, so at the age of 26 I completed my first 18 module nutrition diploma.

I was fast becoming obsessed with nutrition and the positive impact it had on performance, recovery and overall health and well-being.

At this point, I couldn’t even boil an egg so I began to get hands on in the kitchen, educating myself daily on how to prepare healthy, delicious and exciting food. This was a game changer!!

I took my performances to the next level

I was recovering better, my body fat significantly dropped, concentration levels were on point, sleep was better and I was fast becoming the healthiest version of myself and a PROPER athlete.

Taking ownership and responsibility for my health and nutrition was a massive turning point in my career.

I started analysing everything that I put into my body and I began to reap the rewards in the gym and on the pitch.

My performances improved rapidly

I was recovering quicker in between games, and in 2015 I was able to comfortably make the huge step up into the Premier League, the most competitive football league in the world.

In my experience, I have realised that the focus has always been on the physical side of football.

I was told of the importance of keeping fit and being strong in the gym, but nutrition was rarely discussed.

I look back and wonder if I could have made it to the Premier League sooner if I’d been educated at a younger age on the benefits of good nutrition.

I love helping and encouraging aspiring athletes reach their full potential.

Alongside playing football I qualified as a gym instructor, personal trainer and nutrition advisor specialising in athletic performance and weight management.

What I have learnt is not only applicable to athletes, good health is universal. No matter your age or profession, we can all benefit from educating ourselves and working to improve our health. Including lots of wholefoods, drinking plenty of water and staying active will make you feel so much better both physically and mentally.

The Foodie Footballer

I am passionate about sharing what I’ve learnt along the way in order to hopefully have a positive impact on other people’s health.

In 2019 I set up my ‘thefoodiefootballer’ instagram page, where I share healthy recipes, workouts and tips on how to improve nutrition in order to reach peak performance.

online health coach

Since retiring from professional football I am working as an online health coach helping a wide variety of clients reach their fitness and nutrition goals. 

I am also part of the LFE life skills program for the 72 EFL clubs. My role is to educate athletes on the importance of nutrition for performance, recovery, and overall health and well-being. My session includes a nutrition presentation along with a practical session in the kitchen. 

I am really excited about what the future holds.

My goal is to help as many people as possible become the healthiest version of themselves and reach their full potential.

Yours truly,

Marc Pugh – The Foodie Footballer