Have you ever wondered what happened to all of those players that you have seen come and go over the years? The heroes and the villains? The saints and the sinners? The stars that you talked about for years after they had retired and those you instantly forgot?
If so, Where Are They Now? is definitely for you!
Not all players end up running pubs or become TV pundits! It's no secret what Gary Lineker is up to these days but what about the many thousands of players who have slipped from public view? The first edition of "Where Are They Now?" uncovered some fascinating post football stories including the former Arsenal striker who became Iceland's Finance Minister; Millionaires; Bankrupts; Vicars; Comedians; Singers; a Phil Collins lookalike... and one or two publicans!
Updated: 20-01-18The Swedish international was signed by Manchester United for £4.4 million from Italian outfit Parma to provide cover for Ryan Giggs. He didn't play enough games to win a Championship winner's medal in 1999 and was an unused sub in the FA Cup Final but he started the Champions League Final victory over Bayern Munich. He missed the last two seasons of his contract with a serious knee injury and his contract wasn't renewed. Is now assistant manager of Hammarby and came out of retirement to play for them in 2010. He has also worked as a television pundit and splits his time between Sweden and Croatia where he owns property.
Updated: 20-01-18It took several attempts from Sir Alex Ferguson to land his man but he finally managed it in 2001, when he needed a replacement for Jaap Stam. He took his time to settle but eventually helped the club to the 2002-2003 Premier League crown in his last season before retirement. He became coach of Bordeaux in 2007, staying until the end of the 2009-2010 season when he left to take over as coach of the French national team. Later managed former club Paris Saint-Germain but left in 2016 after three years in the hot-seat. At the time, it was claimed that his severance payment would be in the region of 22 million Euros!
Updated: 20-01-18One of Liberia's greatest exports is now back home and was elected as the country's President in January 2018. A former winner of the FIFA World Footballer of the Year in 1995 and African player of the Year three times. Arsene Wenger, who was manager of Monaco at the time was shrewd enough to persuade George to move to Europe in 1998. A fourteen year stay took in spells in England with Chelsea and Manchester City.
Updated: 20-01-18Played in the same England youth teams as Peter Barnes, Bryan Robson, Ray Wilkins and Glenn Hoddle. Made his league debut in the explosive Manchester derby in March 1974 which saw two players sent off, four booked and Clive Thomas take both teams off the pitch at one stage. He left Old Trafford to return to his native North East after two seasons. Lives in his native Harrowgate, Darlington. Worked his way up from sales rep to the board of directors of Hazlewood Foods, he is now a players' agent, also works as a motivational speaker and formed the Masterskills Football Academy in his home town.
Updated: 20-01-18Although relatively short at 5ft 5in, John was a true competitor, fast on the wing and never afraid to take on a defender no matter how tough their reputation. A former Army player from Aldershot, he started his time as a professional by signing for Birmingham City after the war. A target that Matt Busby had long had his eye on, his services were finally secured in 1951 by parting with a transfer fee of £25,000. Winner of four England caps and three championship medals, the diminutive live-wire never recovered sufficiently from injuries sustained at Munich to recommence his already successful career. He opened a sports shop with his brother Peter, who played for Crystal Palace and Ipswich Town, in Farnborough, Hampshire. He died in September 1994, aged just 68. He was the first of the surviving players from the Munich air crash to die.
Updated: 20-01-18One of the original Fergie's Fledglings, he announced his arrival in the first team in style scoring one and setting up two in only his second game. He became a first team regular for the rest of the 1988-1989 season following the departure of Gordon Strachan, but a loss of form and injuries saw him return to the reserves. Following the arrival of Paul Ince and Neil Webb, his chances became fewer and in the end he was granted a free transfer. After a serious back injury ended his career, he returned to the north west to work as assistant community officer at Bolton before joining Bournemouth's coaching staff. Now the club's Community Sports Trust as an Inclusion Officer.
Updated: 20-01-18One of the most controversial figures of his day, is said to have been sent off 12 times during his career. He picked up many lengthy suspensions including one following the 1926 FA Cup Final against Manchester City, when he fouled Sam Cowan who was knocked out. He was popular throughout his six years at Old Trafford and helped the club win promotion in 1925. Was given a free transfer at the age of 37, three years later. A blacksmith by trade, he was promised a pub if he captained United to promotion and when he did, he took over a hotel in Ardwick Green but walked out after 15 minutes after getting fed up of admirers. He joined the Aston Villa coaching staff in 1935 before moving to Swansea Town 12 years later. He stayed in South Wales until 1954 when he returned to Birmingham working for Lye Town until his retirement. He died in September 1968.
Updated: 20-01-18Signed for Manchester United from Monaco for £7.8 million as the long term replacement for Peter Schmeichel and he soon became a crowd favourite at Old Trafford because of his eccentric behaviour. He won Premier League winner's medals in 2000-2001 and 2003-2003. One mistake too many against Real Madrid in the Champions League brought an end to his time at the club. Tim Howard was bought into replace him and he joined Marseille on loan the following New Year. At one time dated Canadian model Linda Evangelista. In 2012, Barthez became the honorary president of Championnat National team Luzenac. He has been seen on the beach soccer and poker circuits.
Updated: 20-01-18Signed for Manchester United after a successful trial, after being spotted playing in the FA Youth Cup for Lancaster City. He progressed through the youth team and reserves into the first team, making his only appearance in a League Cup tie against Crewe Alexandra. He was sent out on loan but when United ditched one of their reserve teams, he was handed a free transfer in June 2008. He went on to play for AFC Halifax after spells at Northwich Victoria and Southport.
Updated: 20-01-18Went to the same school as former United team mate Mark Howard, he grew up near the Cliff. He signed apprentice forms having been at the Manchester United since the age of eight. After a handful of first team appearances and following a succession of loan spells, he signed for Sunderland in January 2008. Bardsley married glamour model Tanya Robinson in 2014 and signed for Burnley in July 2017.
When we researched the first printed edition of 'Where Are They Now?' in the 1990's, footballers were already incredibly well paid by conventional employment standards but prior to that, players had to find a new career once they had hung up their boots.
This meant that we unearthed plenty of interesting and un-expected stories, many of which are found on the site. Sadly, there were some we could not re-produce for legal reasons - sorry!
Playing professional football, particularly at the highest level should ensure that modern players should not have to worry about money for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, this has not limited the number of fascinating tales for us to tell. For example, were you aware that former Sheffield United midfielder Curtis Woodhouse became British light welterweight champion when he took up professional boxing, having apparently 'fallen out of love' with football? If the rumours are true, he was not just a winner in the ring! At one point, he was considered to be 50 to 1 outsider to win the title and a successful £5,000 scooped him a cool £250,000 when he defeated defending champion Darren Hamilton.
If you know of any other stories that may interest fellow fans, please do let us know.
Sorry - we have been hit by spammers so have had to temporarily remove the form. Please do keep on letting us have your updates but by e-mail (email@example.com) until we can resolve the issue - thank you very much.