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My retirement from professional football

All I ever wanted to do or be was a professional footballer. I am one of few that have been blessed to make my dreams a reality and play at the highest level.

When you’re a young player coming into the game you think it’s going to last forever, retirement seems a million years away. I remember many retired players telling me it comes round quick, but I was confident I would be playing into my late 30’s and didn’t need to think about it anytime soon.

Even up until the year I decided to retire, early 2021 at age 33, retirement hadn’t really crossed my mind. I was fitter than ever and felt I could be a great asset for a club.


However, like many, the pandemic and lockdowns in 2020 threw my life and my plans in the air and changed my outlook forever.

Up until this point my life had always been extremely structured and disciplined. I went straight from school into academy football and then was lucky enough to be in full time employment at various clubs over the years.

I had a routine, I was told where to be and when, I knew that between July to the following May each year my life would be dedicated to the sport I loved. I travelled a lot during the season and spent extended periods away from home towards the end of my career when I moved clubs a few times.

I didn’t know any different and neither did my wife and kids. We felt and still feel blessed that was our life.

The impact of lockdown on my professional career

Then the lockdowns were announced and all of a sudden I was at home, all day every day.

Suddenly I had the freedom to create my own routines. Of course, I had a responsibility to keep myself fit for my club, which I found easy as I am an extremely disciplined person who likes to keep fit. However, for the first time ever I was able to make decisions for myself as to what I did and when. I was able to put my kids first and spend some quality time at home with them.

What surprised me the most was how much I enjoyed this. During this period I spoke to many of my friends in the professional game, each of them would tell me they couldn’t wait to get back to training and have that structure in their lives again, I was the opposite. I felt like I thrived during that first lockdown, I realised that I could live and be happy outside of the football bubble.


Clauses in my contract with QPR meant that I didn’t end up returning to the club after the lockdown when other footballers went back to work. I was still however keen to keep playing and asked my agent to find me a club.

This ended up taking longer than I would have hoped and I was at home and without a club for over 6 months. I kept myself busy during this time and explored other passions. I started to realise that I was happy doing other things and didn’t need football to fulfil me like I’d always thought.

Roll on the end of October 2020 and I signed a 3 month contract with Shrewsbury Town FC. Looking back I already knew before I decided to sign the contract that this was probably it for me. I was torn. Deep down I knew I had changed, that I’d had a taste of life outside of the game and loved it.

I also knew that I was fitter then ever and still an extremely talented footballer with so much to offer a team. I didn’t want to look back and regret hanging up my boots when I was still physically able to play.

It’s also a privilege to represent a football club, and I didn’t want to seem ungrateful by not utilising my God given talents, so I decided to go back and see how I felt.

I don’t regret taking this contract, it confirmed what I already knew, my time in the professional game had run its course.

I wanted to retire with a healthy body AND mind. I wanted to retire from the game, I didn’t want the game to retire me. I did speak to a few clubs after I left Shrewsbury, however nothing felt right. I also chose not to publicly announce my retirement in any way. I personally didn’t feel the need to do this.

My life after professional game

I am so grateful for the career I had. I achieved my dreams and loved the journey I went on, from playing in the conference league to battling against some of the greatest players in the world. I regret nothing.


As I look now to my future, I’m excited about what comes next. I am absolutely loving educating people on health and nutrition and coaching others to reach their goals. I get the same buzz from helping others as I did scoring a goal.

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