The average playing career of a footballer is between 18-35, which means a player’s career only lasts for about 15-17 years.
Several players already have an idea of what they want to do following retirement and most times it involves staying in the game either as a manager or a pundit.
While most players stay in the game, others venture into businesses, but some changed careers, which may include golf or other sports.
But some delved into something different entirely, one of which is the preaching of the gospel of Christ. There are some players whose careers have taken this unexpected direction, which is why Soccernet takes a look at former footballers who are now full-time pastors.
Taribo West: Famous for his weird hairstyle during his playing days, Taribo West had a career that spanned 17 years. The 45-year-old played for the likes of Inter Milan, AC Milan and Auxerre.
Taribo revealed he was once in a cult group, but he was saved after coming in contact with a female pastor who led him to Christ.
The former Super Eagles star has not looked back since then, and he is the founder of Shelter in The Storm Miracle Ministries of All Nation.
Idah Peterside: Another former Nigerian star although he did not make an appearance for the Super Eagles. Peterside story is also similar to that of Taribo as he was also part of an occultic group before finding Christ.
In a recent interview, the former Moroka Swallows goalkeeper revealed how he used to worship demons and also initiate virgins into the cult.
However, Peterside has renounced these devilish acts, and he is now the founder and Senior Pastor of Christ Ambassadors Church located in Johannesburg.
Peter Knowles: Till today, the story of Peter Knowles is still a surprise to British people. The son of former Rugby League full-back Cyril Knowles quit the game at 23 not because of injury, but by choice.
To put into context, imagine Marcus Rashford retiring right now without any issue. Knowles was playing for Wolves as at that time, and till this day, Wolves fans believe the club could’ve achieved more in the 70s had Knowles kept on playing.
Even after retiring, Wolves kept his contract open with the hope he’ll change his decision. Following his retirement, Knowles went to the United States where he became a Jehova Witness.
Gavin Peacock: Peacock career started with QPR, before going on to play for the likes for Bournemouth, Newcastle and Chelsea. He retired from football in 2001 following a short loan stint with Charlton.
After his retirement, the 52-year-old enrolled in a Theology class to become a pastor. Speaking in an interview with the independent, Peacock revealed the moment he decided to go into ministry.
“I was reading the Bible – as I had done for many years – when I sensed a burning inside, not just to read it but to teach it. There was a desire to do it. But also a compulsion. A joyful compulsion, I’d call it. There’s a great joy when I preach or when I lead in a church, but I also feel like I must do it.”
He currently resides in Canada with his family, and he is a pastor at Calvary Grace Church in Calgary.
Phil Mulryne: Although he made just one appearance, Mulryne was part of the famous Manchester United squad that had so much success in the 90s.
After leaving Manchester United in 1999, he went on to play for Norwich, Cardiff, Leyton Orient before retiring in 2008.
A year after his retirement, Murlryne decided to enter the priesthood, and he was ordained as a priest in 2017.