FOOTBALLERS are so institutionalised by their sport that many of them stick with it in some capacity well beyond the end of their playing careers - as managers, coaches, scouts, commentators, writers and pundits.
But a select few rip off the shackles and venture into the big, bad world. Here’s eight of them, all of whom played for Swindon Town...
1. Darren Bullock, window cleaner
The no-nonsense midfielder managed to command more than £650,000 in transfer fees during the 1990s and enjoyed successful spells at Huddersfield Town and Bury as well as Swindon before slipping out of the game.
He saw out his career at Worcester before delving into the local non-leagues. Where once he was kicking lumps out of opposing players, Bullock is now wiping chunks off grimey panes.
2. Kim Heiselberg, pig farmer
Heiselberg became something of a cult hero for his two very forgettable appearances for Swindon Town at the start of the 2000/01 season.
One of a plethora of signings made by Colin Todd that summer, his Town career lasted all of one week and he soon returned to his native Denmark where he founded Hedegård Farms, near the village of Tarm, on the west coast of Danish Jutland.
While he may not have won the fans over during his time in Wiltshire, he is hugely respected in the porcine world - by the people not the pigs - and has won several awards.
3. Chris Hamon, paramedic
A centre-forward, Hamon scored two goals for Town in three years with the club after signing from St Peter in Jersey in 1992, making his solitary Premier League appearance against Newcastle United.
After giving up the game he trained as a paramedic and now has 10 years’ experience, some of which has been spent in teaching roles in places such as Camp Bastion and Kandahar, Afghanistan.
4. Jim Whitley, artist and musician
The midfielder played three games during a loan spell over Christmas and New Year in 2000/01, went back to Manchester City, ended his career at Wrexham and is now very much indulging his artistic side.
Whitley’s website claims his acrylic and pastel artwork work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, while he has also joined the Rat Pack tour as Sammy Davis Jnr.
Talk about multi-talented!
5. Kyle Lightbourne, cricketer
Lightbourne only played twice for Swindon Town on loan, hardly set the County Ground alight and will be remembered best for...to be honest, he probably isn’t remembered at all.
The striker enjoyed lengthier spells with Stoke City and Macclesfield Town but we like the fact he is reported to have turned out in five ICC Trophy matches for Bermuda.
Before you mock this achievement, don’t forget the Caribbean island nation reached the World Cup in 2007. Lightbourne manager 11 senior international wickets - bowling over more people in the process there than he managed at Town.
6. Micky Hazard, cabbie
One of the major drivers behind Town’s promotion-winning campaign in 1992/93, Hazard is still driving today - but in very different circles.
Well, actually, the former midfielder’s passengers will be hoping he doesn’t go round in circles as he navigates the roads of London in his current occupation as a taxi operator.
Hazard made 143 appearances for Swindon before being ludicrously sold back to Tottenham midway through the Robins’ Premier League campaign. In whatever industry he’s been in, it seems, he’s had The Knowledge to succeed.
7.Phil King, publican
King helped Town win the Division Three play-offs in the late 1980s and was held in high regard by most fans for his no-nonsense approach to defending.
He’s gone on to establish cult hero status in the Town as pint-pourer-in-chief at The Dolphin on Rodbourne Road, where he’s pleasing punters with shots of a very different variety.
The full-back is still wandering the corridors of the County Ground on matchdays as head of corporate relations (or something like that) and rumour has it that the Sponsors Suite microphone will only operate in his hands.
8. Roy Wegerle, golfer
The American played seven games on loan for Swindon in 1988, scoring one goal against Bradford City. He is fondly remembered at QPR and Coventry, and also spent time at Blackburn, before retiring to the fairways and greens of the golfing circuit.
Wegerle once qualified for the European PGA Tour but never really made the cut (geddit) and wasn’t really helped by 10 knee operations.