Over the last decade it has become openly obvious that football at the premiership levels throughout the world has become a purely financial driven corporation and the players who have been born into this product do not seem to replicate the club players of yesteryear, say, up until the end of the 80’s.
It would be safe to assume that modern day players are as much manipulated by financially driven football agents eager to build their portfolio of high profile names as fast as their bank accounts as they are to fulfil their ambition of earning a king’s ransom with whoever they can get a trial with.
In the latest transfer market activity we have seen a record breaking deal involving Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid, a club in £500M worth of debt, having an alleged negotiated wage that will pocket him between £79M and £93M over his 6 year contract. A sum that would seem abhorrent in a country with 1 in 4 people out of work who struggle to shop for groceries at €300 a month, let alone having €300,000 a week plus grace and favour houses and cars.
Remember the footballers of the grass roots era? Players who were on a few pounds a week, some with additional jobs or doing side line work to top the wages up and the main reason for playing football was for the love of the game and the pride of playing for the club.
It is also safe to assume that every single retiring premiership footballer will already have their futures arranged and a financially sound retirement plan complete with paid up mortgages, holiday homes and a membership pass into the footballing network that looks after its own, and will never worry about not having enough money ever again, which is a far cry from how football was, as recently as 30 years ago.
Of course the lower league players will never achieve the “fantasy football salaries” and make their way on reasonably respectable pay days that most 40 hour a week workers would be happy to swap with.
There seems to be a disconnection between player and club these days and as we’ve seen, players are more capable of moving from club to club without any emotional remorse which is possibly largely to do with the fact that players are more career programmed and do not share the cultural context that every fan connects to his club with. Of course there is the odd exception.
I suppose the crux of the question is, are high profile players really bothered about which team they play for, just as long as their financial package is right for them at that time until their agent moves them on to the next bigger and better deal?
So, while David Beckham flits between his mansions in one of his Bentleys, Bale looks through a brochure of “Castles for sale” while sat in a bath of luke warm champagne and the majority of other players shop for trinkets such as 30 grand watches and 20 grand diamond ear studs, £500 haircuts and incidental impulse buys that would set most of us back 5 years worth of salary, in a day when all players are hailed as “Hero’s” instead of “Stars” let’s pay a small tribute to the humble Hull City player of yesteryear and find out…
Where are they now?
The sketchy research I have done has been undertaken with the best of intentions, in good faith and general interest. If there are any facts that are wrong, then please feel free to correct the details as follows on the message board attached to this post if you are able to do so.
A great forward and Hull City legend. Went on to play for Arsenal and turned out once for England against Egypt. Finishing his career at Barnet, went on to become an executive with the PFA and Nike Sports with brief spots on Sky Sports as a pundit and finally taking a position with the admin staff at Man City.
Gary left City to go to Nottingham Forrest. He then moved to Aston Villa finishing his playing career at Leicester City where he met Peter Taylor who ended up being sacked by Leicester in 2001. Gary was put in charge as caretaker manager for the following game against Leeds Utd. Leicester were thumped 6 -0 and Parker’s unpromising career as a football manager started and ended in the same match and was quickly relieved of the position. He now works as a painter and decorator
A firm favourite with City fans and his description of being a “Powerful Striker” could be confused with the more apt description of “Frightening Bulldozer.” Bill had a full career lasting 13 years through 10 clubs if you count Hull City twice and had an “altercation” with Stan Ternant, one of City’s managers. Bill Left Crewe Alexandra in 1983 and went on to run several pubs in Hull as well as working on building sites and also as a greyhound trainer. It’s safe to say; due to his own admittance that Bill liked a bet and now works at the BP oil refinery in Hull.
One of a few Irishmen to play for The Tigers and won the “Irish young player of the year” award in 1983. Ken spent 4 years at Liverpool but never managed to break into the first team. He went on loan to Scunthorpe before joining City. He ended his football career in his home country playing for Limerick and it is believed he worked at Heathrow Airport after he hung his boots up.
It was injury that cut Bobby Doyle’s Hull City career short and only played 43 games for City out of a career total of 537. However, Bobby settled in the area after moving from Portsmouth and set up a haulage business.
Remember him? Gary spent most of his footballing days in the immediate vicinity playing for Grimsby, Lincoln and Hull, with a spell at Nott’s county and finishing his playing days at Chesterfield. He scored over 100 goals in his career and is now managing director of Royston & Lund Estate Agents in West Bridgeford, Nottingham.
A pacey winger who played his entire career for mid league clubs who failed to impress division one attention. Steve finished playing professional football at Wrexham and went on to run 2 holiday camps in Cornwall. Turning his hand to management, he took charge of Truro City and Buckland Athletic until 2011.
Started and finished his career at Doncaster. Transferred from Fulham to Hull City and throughout his footballing years, scored goals for fun. Alan left Doncaster finally in 1981 due to a back injury and took up as the landlord at the “Ring O’Bells” pub in Swinton. He now works as a lorry driver from his base in…You guessed it!.Doncaster.
Hull City fans only saw Robbie’s end of career performances but he also had successful years at both Bristol clubs and Wimbledon. His first club was Huddersfield with other seasons spent at Cardiff, Hartlepool, Plymouth, Nott’s County, Shrewsbury, Exeter and Cambridge. Robbie is now a Plumber in Newton Abbot.
Scottish born bobby had a relatively short spell in football with only 7 years and 4 clubs. From Hull City, McNeill went to Lincoln, Preston and Carlisle returning to Hull where he settled as….A Police Officer!.So Bobby McNeill really is…Bobby McNeill.
The wonder signing from Blyth Spartans. Made an immediate impression with City fans and became a fans favourite and once went on a scoring spree of bagging a goal in 9 consecutive league matches. Les now runs a pub in Northumberland.
For those that remember the signing of Richard Jobson from Watford like me, will also remember the conspicuous absence surrounding his (None) arrival at Boothferry Park under odd circumstances. We signed him…But he never showed up for a few weeks with no news of why. He eventually turned out to be a good defender alongside Pete Skipper and Stan McEwen. Jobson eventually went on to play for Man City and now lives in Halifax and is a senior executive for the PFA.
At the risk of name dropping, I met Stuart at Radio Humberside a year or so ago as he was coming out of the studio and I was going in, to do a slot on my subject. He is an upbeat chap with a positive outlook and seems to be keeping very well. A popular left winger who could put a shift in and scored 65 goals in 193 appearances for Hull City which could arguably be described as Elliot’s best days. Capped for Northern Ireland 36 times and scoring 4 international goals his final transfer was more of a calling than a career move as he has become a Pastor with the Living Hope Christian Church near Anlaby Road in Hull.
Another player to have had two spells at Hull City, with a season at Leeds Utd. In between. A good goal scorer with a consistent strike rate finished his career at Plymouth Argyle in 1990 and became a lorry driver in Sheffield. Keith can still be heard on BBC Radio Sheffield commentating on The Blades.
Played 362 games for the Tigers and only had 3 clubs in an 11 year career. Such was his devotion to keeping his place in City’s starting 11, he switched his usual left back position to play right back and became a good defensive utility player in 362 games for The Tigers before being transferred out to Blackburn Rovers and then onto Scunthorpe. Roger moved back to Hull and is a teacher in a local primary school
One of Hull City’s most loyal players and his only club in 12 years. If you cut his arm off, he would bleed black and amber. A welsh under 21 international, stalwart captain and Hull City’s very own pocket battleship. Gareth is a sports development officer within East Riding County Council.
From Hull City, Gordon went to Plymouth and then Exeter where he finished his playing days. He went back to Plymouth as a coach but left the position to become a company director and property manager with the Bealon Group. In a diverse change of career, he is now a police officer with the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary.
Frank has had quite a busy and notable career both in football and its afterlife. From Hull City he went to Oldham Athletic and in one notable league cup game against Scarborough in 1989, he became a record holder that still stands to this day. Oldham beat Scarborough 7-0. Frank scored 6 of them. Injury forced him out of the game at 27 years of age and took up as a coach at Wigan Athletic. He also coached at Man City and Coventry and stepped up to assistant manager at Rochdale where he was sacked in 2011.
John had a successful career at Hull City (Twice) as well as Leeds Utd. and Arsenal finishing at Scunthorpe Utd. (Seems to be the graveyard of ex Hull City Players). John became an antique dealer and owns antique shops and auction houses in Lincolnshire, Beverley & North Cave.
A prominent name in Hull City history that ended his career in Hong Kong. He returned to the UK to take up coaching but now runs a hotel in Littleborough near Rochdale.
After leaving Hull City, Mick went to play his final days out at Carlisle United before moving across country to open a pub in Bolden, Tyne & Wear. Mick is one of the “legends” on Century Radio with Malcolm McDonald (Supermac) and Bernie Slaven.
A Welsh International born in Cardiff played 12 times for his country between 1977 and 1979. Nick had 2 spells at PSV Eindhoven and Beringen as well as playing for Hereford and Workington Toiwn before joining Hull City. Nick is a computer analyst with Bristol based British Aerospace.
Lastly & Sadly
One of Hull City’s most distinguished players and one of the breed that has played for both Merseyside clubs. Liverpool before joining The Tigers and Everton after. Gary’s last club was American, Long Island Riders in 2001 before he took up back room duties as Everton’s under 17 coach in 2002 and became Liverpool’s reserve team manager in 2007. In 2009 he was appointed manager of Stockport County but left the club when it was taken over by new owners.
Sadly, Gary lost his long battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and died in Liverpool, 1st January 2012.
So there we are. Just a taste of the less than glamorous work ethic that players of a bygone era, yet not too long ago have had to maintain in order to pay their way in the afterlife of football and they may argue that they had unfortunately “missed the boat” with regards to the big pay days and the glitz and glamour of celebrity status football players of today.
There seems to be a “scallywag type honesty” about players of the 70’s and 80’s and somehow a more tangible connection between players and their respective clubs whereas now, top flight football is populated with brand players and contractual manipulation that puts the players first, the agent second, the underwriters / investors third, the clubs fourth and last and very, very least…The fans, who’s pockets are being picked for everything that can be extricated.
If Football was not as greedy and financially out of control as it is now, in 15 years we may well have been reading “Where are they now 2028?”
Wayne Rooney – Pipe Fitter & Pit Bull Terrier Breeder - Cleckheaton
David Beckham – Milkman – Lyme Regis
John Terry – Race relations advisor – Putney County Council
Gareth Bale – Mobile catering van – A22
Steven Gerard – Coach Driver – Saga Holidays.
Christiano Ronaldo – Deck Chair and pedalo hire attendant at “Bobs Beach Toys” - Algarve
Makes you think.
Source: Hull City Mad