17 of the Weirdest & Most Wonderful Jobs That Footballers Did After Retirement

Not all footballers become pundits, like Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher, or managers, like Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino, when they hang up their boots.

In fact, Djibril Cisse's announcement that he has finished with the game of football and will now concentrate on working as a DJ gave us inspiration to look at some other interesting occupations that ex-players embark on.

Here are 17 of the best...

17. Pancake Cook

Example: Ken Monkou

Maybe it is normal in the Netherlands for ex-footballers to enter the pancake business, but for everyone else it seems a bit strange. Monkou bought a pannekoek (pancake) house in Delft in 2009 and takes culinary control of the delicacies 

During his playing time, Monkou was a steady central defender, coming to England after breaking through the ranks at Feyenoord. He played for Chelsea, Huddersfield Town and most memorably Southampton during a 15 year career. 

16. Bouncy Castle Business Owner

Example: John Chiedozie  

Chiedozie reached modest success as a footballer, with his time at Tottenham Hotspur the most notable point. The former winger also managed to feature for the Nigerian national team, but he took a completely different turn after leaving the game.

Now settled in Hampshire, the ex-Leyton Orient and Notts County star runs a bouncy castle business, providing entertainment for children's birthday parties in the area. 

15. Boxer

Example: Curtis Woodhouse

It is difficult for footballers to venture into other sports after a full career, yet it is not impossible as Curtis Woodhouse will adhere to. The former Sheffield United and Birmingham City midfielder moved into professional boxing in 2006, only to return to football a few years later.

A promising youngster involved in the England under 21 set up, Woodhouse never really excelled and managed just 3 top flight appearances in total. In the ring though, the "Driffield Destroyer" has a reckon of 22 wins in 29 fights including 13 by knockout. 

14. Artist

Example: Jody Craddock

Wolverhampton Wanderers fans have a lot to thank for in regards to Jody Craddock. The former captain marshalled the club's back line for a decade and one gesture of gratitude could be to invest in Craddock's art.

Yes, as bizarre as it sounds, the former centre back turned his back on the sport upon retiring in 2013 and pursued his love for painting. He has already produced works of  "portraiture, graffiti and photo-realism", and has seen his work displayed in galleries.

13. Frutit and Vegetable Trader

Example: Philippe Albert

A cult hero on Tyneside for the five years he served as a Magpie, Albert is probably best remembered for his audacious chip over Peter Schmeichel during Newcastle United's 5-0 win over the Red Devils in October 1996.

The former Belgian international defender somehow got into the fruit and vegetable business and currently runs a company of his own. 

12. Solicitor

Example: Stuart Ripley

A Premier League winner with Blackburn Rovers in 1995, Ripley went on to play for Southampton in the top flight, ending his career in the early 2000s with two England caps to his name.

The former winger graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a first class combined honours degree in Law and French and has since qualified as a solicitor, in addition to his work for the FA's judicial panel. 

11. Investment Banker

Example: Ramon Vega

Tottenham Hotspur fans didn't think too much of Ramon Vega, after the Swiss defender spent four years at White Hart Lane. However, the 45-year-old has resurrected his personal reputation since quitting football and is now a hugely successful private banker.

Fluent in five languages, Vega set up Duet Group in 2002, "a financial group specialising in asset management and private equity" and he is also involved in a Swiss real estate company.

10. Guest House Owner

Example: Marco Gabbiadini

Aside from clinching the old Third Division title with Sunderland in 1988, Marco Gabbiadini's biggest achievement to date is arguably winning the Guest House of the Year in the 1999 York Tourism Awards.

The former Derby County and Crystal Palace striker, who cumulatively cost nearly £3m throughout his career, runs a hugely successful restored Victorian hotel, the Bishops, with his family.

9. Wine Importer

Example: David May

May was part of the dominant Manchester United side of the 1990s and he picked up two Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League for his troubles as a professional footballer.

After retiring though, the former centre back embarked on a totally new direction, becoming a successful wine importer, having invested in the business from earnings gained through years as a top flight player. 

8. Used Car Salesman

Example: Jeff Whitley

Whitley spent around a decade playing at the highest level of football; featuring for the likes of Manchester City, Cardiff City and Sunderland, as well as Northern Ireland at international level.

Yet, with his competitive career over in 2010, the former midfielder took up the offer of a friend to join him in the used car business and the 38-year-old is still working in Stockport trying to offload old Hyundais!!!

7. Fisherman

Example: Lee Bowyer

After a career spent running around a football pitch at the very highest level, you can't really blame Lee Bowyer for taking it easy after he ended his career with Ipswich Town in 2012, following successful spells with Leeds United, Newcastle United and West Ham United.

The one cap England wonder purchased a carp lake in France and now makes his living fishing. Aptly named Bows' Lake, the former midfielder admits it was something that he always wanted to do. 

6. Ship Storeman

Example: Kevin Kyle

Having featured for Sunderland in the Premier League and Scotland at international level, it may be somewhat surprising to learn that burly striker Kevin Kyle was working cleaning floors, making beds and replenishing stocks on a ship in the Shetland Islands.

The ex-Rangers, Coventry City and Hearts striker also hilariously entered the BDO Scottish Open darts tournament last year, as he continues to demonstrate the humble life of a retired footballer.

5. Fireman

Example: David Hillier

The former midfielder played over 100 league games for Arsenal prior to Arsene Wenger's arrival in North London and was a regular starter with the Gunners, before ending his career in the lower leagues.

As the story goes, Hillier passed the local fire station in Bristol with his wife and ended up working there as a fireman. 

4. Wrestler

Example: Tim Wiese

Tim Wiese's story has gained prominence across the footballing world and it is easy to see why. The seasoned Bundesliga veteran swapped the football pitch for the wrestling ring upon his retirement, with the German joining the World Wrestling Entertainment franchise.

The former keeper was part of Germany's 2010 World Cup squad after establishing himself as the Werder Bremen number one, but he is now more focused on finishing moves than penalty saves.

3. Teacher

Examples: Barry Horne

Stories of teachers becoming football managers is not so uncommon, as Louis van Gaal will attest to, but the opposite is less prevalent. The most amusing example has to be FA Cup winner Barry Horne, who now earns his wage as a chemistry teacher in Chester.

The former Everton and Southampton midfielder picked up a first-class degree in chemistry from the University of Liverpool and now uses it to good use teaching teenagers in the established King's School. 

2. Pastor

Example: Gavin Peacock

It's hard to believe that regular top flight goalscorer Gavin Peacock would go on to become a pastor for a congregation at Calvary Grace Church in Canada, especially since viewers will remember him as a pundit on Match of the Day not too long ago.

A success at Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea, whom he captained, the former striker followed  similar story to former Manchester United academy graduate Phil Mulryne, was was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest by the Archbishop of Dublin last year.

1. Private Detective

Example: Arjan de Zeeuw

A former captain of both Wigan Athletic and Portsmouth, Arjan de Zeeuw had an impressive career in the Premier League, featuring over 150 times; first with Barnsley, before spells with Pompey and the Latics.

The composed centre back returned to his native Holland after his career died down and instead of continuing his degree in medicine, decided to join the Utrecht police force as a private investigator for human trafficking and drugs.