A conspiracy theorist who believes the English royal family are actually a bunch of shape-shifting lizards; a condom vendor and a grave-digger. These are just some of the whacky jobs professional footballers take up once the ref's whistle blows for the last time on their playing career.
In a week where retired players Royston Drenthe and Djibril Cisse made headlines for releasing a rap song and taking up a DJ career respectively, we took an amusing stroll through some of the stranger post-football career careers that have made headlines over the years for their sheer absurdity.
Djibril Cisse – DJ
The former Liverpool striker confirmed his playing days are over, but has no plants to walk away from the spotlight as he prepares to try his luck behind the decks.
Kakha Kaladze – Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia
The former AC Milan defender was voted Gerogian footballer of the year three times and continued to give back to his beloved country after hanging up the boots, serving as its minister for Energy.
He has since moved up in the ranks and is serving as Deputy Prime Minister.
David Icke – Conspiracy theorist
The former Northampton Town keeper was forced to retire from football with crippling arthritis at the tender age of 21, leaving him plenty of time to cultivate his... different.... ideas about the world.
Although Icke adamantly denies being anything as 'out there' as a conspiracy theorist, he has publicly reiterated his belief that the English royal family is a group of ‘shape shifting lizards’.
Lars Elstrup – Cult member
After retiring in 1993, the UEFA EURO 1992 winner joined a spiritual cult and adopted the name “Darando,” meaning ‘the river that flows’. In 2016, Elstrup made his return to the football pitch, albeit as a streaker in Randers clash with Silkleborg.
Arjan de Zeeuw – Detective
The hard-hitting defender completed a medical science degree by 22 and the former Wigan skipper now works as an investigative detective specialising in forensics.
Alan Dickens – Black Cab driver
The former Chelsea and West Ham midfielder didn’t earn an international call-up but still enjoyed a pretty fruitful career none the less, which is why it was surprising to discover that Dickens worked as a black cab driver after hanging up the boots.
Wendell Lira – FIFA player
Persistent injuries saw Wendell Lira hang up the boots at 27 and pick up a Playstation controller to become a professional FIFA video game player.
Undoubtedly the highlight of his football career was this sublime goal for Goianesia, which was was crowned as the FIFA’s goal of the year in 2015.
Neil Webb – Postman
Neill Webb went from evading world class defenders to dodging dogs when the 26-time England International became a postman in his retirement.
Stuart Tomlinson – WWE Wrestler
One look at Tomlinson’s physique and you’ll know whey the former goalkeeper stepped into the WWE arena after hanging up the gloves.
He’s not the only shot stopper sporting Lycra, he was joined by former Weder Bremen keeper Tim Wiese.
Tomlison has since been released from his WWE contract, but hey at least he has modelling to fall back on.
Bixente Lizarazu – Jui Jitsu
Lizarazu enjoyed a trophy-laden career including FIFA World Cup glory with France in 1998, and retired in 2006 having won just about everything there is to win for club and country.
The 47 year-old dabbled in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in retirement and became a European Blue Belt Senior 1 Light Division champion.
Here he is training with former UFC champion Jose Aldo.
John Chiedozie – Sells jumping castles
Footballers bring joy to millions with their exploits on the pitch but there’s no doubt former Tottenham winger John Chiedozie serves up more laughter in retirement, running a Jumping Castle company in Hampshire.
Kenneth Monkou – Opened a pancake house
In their playing days, a strict diet means footballers can’t indulge their sweet tooth too often and former Southampton defender Ken Monkou made up for lost time when he retired, opening up a pancake house in the Netherlands.
Jeff Whitley – Used car salesman
Jeff Whitely was shopped around like a used car in his playing days, with a string of loan appearances. The former Manchester City midfielder must have learned a thing or two about wheeling and dealing during that time. He now sells used cars full-time.
Tony Hibbert – Carp fisherman
One-club-man Tony Hibbert came up through the youth academy at Everton and went on to play 16 seasons in the first team at Merseyside, without scoring a competitive goal.
Turns out the 35 year-old loves fishing just as much as playing football and now angles 20 kilo Carp for a living.
Stéphane Guivarc'h – Sells swimming pools
It was a career of highs and lows for Stephane Guivarc’h who won the FIFA world Cup on home soil in 1998, and topped Daily Mail's list of the 500 worst strikers to ever play in the premier league.
The Frenchamn returned fire branding the paper “crap” before claiming that England had not contributed to world football since 1966.
He now keeps a low profile, selling pools in hometown Concarneau.
Gaizka Mendieta – DJ
In his playing days, Mendieta was known for his silky skill and technique, featuring in this classic Nike commercial.
"My friend in Valencia, who owned a record shop, used to DJ. If I played on Saturday I would then sneak into the club, but it was always off the record, I would wear a hat and go in disguise."
"I would then DJ and no-one would know it was me. I loved it. It was an escape," the 40 year-old said.
The former Barcelona midfielder can now be found spinning decks on the Mediterranean coast.
Philip Mulryne – Catholic Church Deacon
Philip Mulryne found the light after retiring in 2008 and the former Manchester United midfielder began studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood, and he was ordained as a deacon in 2016.
Kevin Francis – Gang squad policeman
The towering striker terrorised defences with his strength and eye for goal. Kevin Francis found a use for his 201 centimetre frame in retirement, fighting crime as a police officer in Canada.
Andriy Shevchenko – Professional golfer
Ukraine’s most recognisable footballer, Andriy Shevchenko thought he would use his football superstardom to pursue a career in politics when he retired, which failed to gather any momentum.
The former Milan striker then did a bit of modelling for Giorgio Armani (as you do) and entered a professional golf tournament, the Kharkov Superior Cup in 2013.
Sol Campbell – Politician
Sol Campbell has been an avid campaigner against racism since retiring and made headlines when he claimed that racism in the FA prevented him from ever becoming England captain
In 2015, the former Tottenham and Arsenal defender unsuccessfully ran for the conservative party in a bid to become Mayor of London.
Jody Craddock – Artist
Most footballers dabblle in punditry or coaching when they hang up the boots, but former Wolverhampton defender Jody Craddock took the unbeaten track when he picked up the paintbrush instead.
Turns out football wasn’t Craddock’s only talent, the centre-back had his first art exhibition - "Le Bellezza Della Fusione" in 2015.
David Ginola – Vineyard owner
The Frenchman has kept very busy since stepping off the pitch with modelling, a stint on dancing with the stars, wine making and a failed FIFA presidency bid taking up most of his time.
Ginola picked up a silver medal at the International Wine Challenge for a rosé he produced at his vineyard in Provence.
Vinnie Jones – Actor
Vinnie Jones’s hard-man reputation in football carried over to the big screen where he starred in Mean Machine, and blockbuster Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barells.
David Hillier – Fireman
After Hillier was famously caught stealing another passengers luggage, the ex-Arsenal midfielder decided to give back to the community and now serves as a fireman in Bristol.
Faustino Asprilla – Sells condoms
Once arrested for allegedly firing a maching gun at security near his farm in Colombia, ‘the octopus’ was a larger than life character on and off the field.
It comes to no surprise that the former Newcastle United attacker now sells condoms in his native Colombia.
His favourite flavour – Guava. “I’ll recommend the guava flavour condom.
“When I was growing up we had a guava tree in or garden and that’s a flavour and aroma that’s very good for romancing.”
Eric Cantona – Ran for president
‘King’ Eric Cantona was one of Manchester United’s greatest players, despite a career littered with controversy.
When he’s not calling for a revolution against the banks, or campaigning to be France’s President, Cantona enjoys acting and has appeared in a number of French and English films.
He also makes the odd cameo in a nike commercial.
And went viral for his 'Will Griggs on fire' rendition.
Curtis Woodhouse – Boxer
The former Hull City and Birmingham midfielder decided to step into the ring after a 15-year career in football.
Nicknamed ‘the troll hunter’ Woodhouse became British light-welterweight champion in 2014 and boasts a record of 22 wins from 29 fights. Not bad.
Royston Drenthe – Rapper
Drenthe burst onto the scene when he signed for Real Madrid as a 20 year-old but sadly never lived up to the hype and at 29, looks set for retirement after being released by UAE side Baniyas.
Drenthe seems more interested in a rap career any way dropping a new track this week titled ‘Paranoia’ under the alias ‘Roya2Faces.’
Dani Osvaldo – Musician
The Italian is known to be a bit of a rockstar in football circles and was sacked by his last club Boca Juniors after he was caught smoking in the change-rooms during his side’s Copa Libertadores quarter-final.
The 30 year-old now gets to live the life of a rockstar for real after snubbing a $3.45 million a year offer from Chievo to pursue a career in music.
Pele – Viagra spokesman
Football fans will buy just about anything Brazil legend Pele endorses – including Viagra.
He’s doesn’t just help men seal the deal, as one of the greatest footballer of all-time Pele regularly lends his face to promote football causes around the world.
Jose Manuel Pinto – Music producer
Jose Pinto adopted the musical alter ego Wahin and founded record label Wahin Makinaciones in 2000.
The former Barcelona shot-stopper and the former shot-stopper now produces his own tracks and produced a beat for former team-mate Alex Song’s clothing line.
Frank Leboeuf – Actor
After retiring, the former Chelsea midfielder moved to LA to carve out a career in acting. While there, he played amateur football for Hollywood United with fellow ex-pro turned actor Vinnie Jones.
Leboeuf is yet to set Hollywood alight, although he did play the doctor who tells Stephen Hawking he needs a tracheotomy in the Oscar-winning film ‘The theory of everything.’
Tim Wiesse – WWE Wrestler
Like many retired footballers, Time Wiesse stacked on 40 kilograms of muscle and become a professional wrestler – said no one ever.
The former Germany goalkeeper won his first WWE matchup at a live event in Munich last year.
Tomas Brolin – Poker player
Brolin played for the likes of Parma, Leeds and Crystal palace and earned 47 caps for Sweden over a 14-year career. After hanging up the boots in 1998, he opened a resterayunt in Sweden, which was repeatedly fined for allowing underage drinking.
After investing a line of vacuum cleaner attachments, he now plays poker professionally.
Brett Angell – Tesco worker
The journeyman played for 15 clubs in 17 years, which included stints at Everton, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers before calling it quits in 2003.
The first year after retirement was rough for the striker, who made $10.30 an hour working for British supermarket chain TESCO. Thankfully, he has moved on to bigger and better and is now managing New Zealand side Hawke’s Bay United.
Ray Wilson – Undertaker
A member of England’s 1966 FIFA World Cup winning side, Ray Wilson’s career ended before footballers began raking in the big bucks. To make ends meet in retirement, he spent 27 years working as an undertaker.
Sadly, the 82 year-old now has Alzheimer's and cannot recall his World Cup heroics.
Thomas Gravesen – Entrepreneur, gambler
Not many footballers go on to make more money in retirement, which was the case for former Real Madrid midfielder Thomas Gravesen.
According to reports, the 40 year-old is now worth over $140 million after a couple of savvy investments. He now lives in Las Vegas and adds to his growing fortune at the poker table.
Gavin Peacock – Church Pastor
Peacock began preaching Christianity towards the end of his playing career and after retiring in 2001, the former Chelsea and Newcastle midfielder studied Theology to become a Christian minister.
He is now the Elder and Pastor at Calvary Grace Church in Canada and co-authored a book on biblical manhood and womanhood.
Lee Bowyer – Fisherman
Lee Bowyer was always a fishing tragic and after he was released by Ipswich in 2012, the midfielder snapped up a Carp fishing lake in France which he now runs.
Ramon Vega – CEO
With a degree in finance, the former Tottenham defender is now CEO of Vega Swiss Asset Management and lodged a bid to buy Portsmouth in 2009.
The Switzerland international also happens to be fluent in five languages.