Former Premier League striker Andy Johnson has revealed how he’s revelling in a new career after retiring from football.
Johnson, 42, retired in 2015 following a career that saw him capped eight times by England and play for Birmingham City, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham and QPR. Johnson netted 21 Premier League goals for Palace during the 2004/05 season, but his career never took off after being blighted by injuries.
That didn’t stop AJ from becoming a fan favourite wherever he played though, with him endearing himself to Everton fans after netting a double in the 3-0 win against Liverpool back in 2006. And Johnson revealed how his relationships with his former clubs have helped him with his new career after football.
READ MORE: 'I was out with future Man Utd star until 6am – he was supposed to meet Barcelona at 9am'
READ MORE: Premier League refs' manager Jon Moss has £5-entry fantasy football league shut down
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes Fanzone, Johnson said: “I tried to be quite smart with my money and investments while I was a footballer. I have always been heavily involved with property investment. I work in property, I am now a part of a Business advisory practise (Band Advisory Group) which specialises in sports, media, creative agencies, & entertainment.
“I'm really enjoying it; I love what I do. Like I've said before, when you hang up your boots, you either stay in football and want to be involved in some way, as a coach, a scout, a pundit or whatever, or you want to completely cut ties. I just felt that in the last few years I got really frustrated with the game. I wouldn't say I fell out of love with it, it was more through injuries, and understanding what I could and couldn't do… it was just a frustrating time for me.
What's your favourite Andy Johnson moment? Let us know in the comments section.
“There's still huge room for education within the game. Dealing with that transition out of the game, for professional athletes, is really difficult. I was quite set up for my post-playing career, but it was still hard for me to come to terms with. When you play football for 22 years and dedicate your life to that and nothing else… it's hard to just wake up one day and turn that tap off. One, emotionally, two, physically, and three, financially.
“We work with young lads, players from all leagues and sports, to help them prepare for that transition out of the game as well as athletes already with business and investments interests. And make sure that they're in the best position possible position, a lot of people from my generation found it really tough.
“I still have links in the game; I'm an active ambassador at Crystal Palace and a patron to their foundation, so I do a few bits for their charity, like the odd marathon walk we've got coming up in a couple of months, which I'm dreading, by the way!
“So I'm still down at Palace quite a bit, I've been to a few Fulham games recently, and I'm going up to see the guys at Everton in the next couple of weeks, and then potentially back at Birmingham to do a few bits with them. So I'm still quite active with a lot of the teams I played for; I never left anywhere on bad terms. I always gave 110% and built some really special relationships with people at all of those clubs – relationships that will last a lifetime, so I'm really fortunate in that sense.”
Source: Read Full Article