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Football's brain academy: Countdown champion Carlisle joins the class
Published : 25 Feb 2010 17:39:09
Clarke Carlisle will make it a hat-trick of Countdown appearances on Friday's episode after winning for the second time on the popular Channel 4 show. Despite the low opinion of most footballers, he's not the only player to demonstrate his intelligence off the pitch. Sportsmail looks at five other stars who remind you that not all players are as thick as Ashley Cole's pay packet. Numbers game: Carlisle has claimed two consecutive wins on TV's Countdown Iain DowieFootball players will tell you that its about having that extra bit in your locker to step up your performance. Some say the one thing Dowie doesn't have in his locker is looks but there's no doubting he makes up for it in brains. The former Southampton and West Ham striker was so clever, he could have become a fighter pilot. Well, almost... He worked at British Aerospace for a time after finishing his Masters Degree in engineering at Southampton University. Top marks: Dowie has a Masters in Engineering while Shaka Hislop has a degree Shaka HislopAnd here we have an astronaut in our midst. Incredibly, Hislop worked at NASA alongside their top scientific team in Space Station Freedom Project. The former Trinidad & Tobago No 1 also studied in Washington and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering before going on to play for Reading. After calling time on his career in 2007, Shaka eventually returned to campus sports to take up the assistant coaching reigns at Quinnipiac University in the US last March. Slaven BilicThe Croatia national team boss and former West Ham and Everton centre-back outwitted Steve McClaren to knock England out of the European Championships in 2008 at the qualifying stage. Mind games: Croatia coach Slaven Bilic read law at university Bilic read law at university and is said to analyse American psychology books to understand his players. Rumours that he single-handedly conceived and built the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva are yet to be confirmed, however... Steve HeighwayLiverpool fans sing about having Stevie Heighway on the wing but the truth is, he'd rather be in the classroom than out on the pitch. 'Bamber' earned his degree in Economics from Warwick University but few knew about it as he kept he road to honours on the quiet. It was in the 1970s after all... Brain teasers: Heighway and Coppell (R) both earned Economics honours Steve CoppellNow here's a very special man. Not only was he ultra-intelligent, he was also the bravest man on earth. We doff our caps in the presence of the man who studied for his economics degree in Liverpool but went on to make 322 league appearances for rivals Manchester United. Talk about bottle! And later in his career, how apt, one might say, that he went on to manage Reading. PICTURE SPECIAL: Burnley brainbox Clarke Carlisle triumphs on his Countdown debutTHE LIST: Top 50 English players who should be on Fabio Capello's radarDoes this spooky image show boy's ghost watching builders demolish his old school?