What does a footballer do once their playing career comes to an end? Many stay in the game either as a coach, journalist or other media work. For some former Celtic players, they take a different route, becoming everything from a poker player to a DJ.
Bobby Petta – DJ
Bobby Petta played for Celtic between 1999 and 2004 before playing for less glamorous clubs such as Darlington and Bradford City. Seven years after leaving Celtic, the Dutchman was back in Glasgow but not as a footballer
Petta was cast as an extra in the movie ‘World War Z’, but that didn’t launch a career in the film industry. Before signing for Celtic, Petta played for Ipswich Town and became interested in DJing.
With his professional footballing career over and Hollywood not showing any interest, he returned to his musical passion. Petta released a track with Saint Luke that reached number four in the Traxsource Jackin’ house charts.
Tony Cascarino – Poker Player
Many footballers spend their time playing cards but with varying levels of success. For Tony Cascarino, playing poker became his new career after his playing days ended. Most players barely know how to play poker, but Cascarino took his card knowledge to a new level.
The former Celtic striker appeared on Celebrity Poker Club but wanted to be more than just another celebrity player.
He struggled at first taking on professional players and says his first year of playing saw him lose £80,000. That sounds a bit of a disaster, but Cascarino admits it was money well spent.
It was a tough learning curve, but big wins came along as he became more experienced. He’s won over £600,000, with his most significant win coming in the GUKPT Grand Final in 2009 when he went home with £168,800. He’s played in Las Vegas and represented the Republic of Ireland at poker.
Jim Goodwin – Chocolate Salesman
Jim Goodwin has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it career with Celtic. His only first-team game for the club was in May 2000 against Dundee United. Two years later, he was transferred to Stockport County. He went on to play over 100 games for St Mirren and currently manages Aberdeen.
However, in 2016 he worked as a salesman for Cadbury while being the part-time manager of Alloa Athletic.
Such was his loyalty to Cadbury that he banned his family from eating other chocolates made by rival companies. His family didn’t complain too much, though, as he regularly returned home with some delicious chocolates for them to enjoy.
Jackie McNamara – Comedy Writer
Jackie McNamara played over 350 games for Celtic between 1995 and 2005. The former Celtic captain used his footballing knowledge to become a comedy writer. Working with Fran Gilhooley, he co-wrote the sitcom The Therapy Room.
The 2011 series was partly based on McNamara’s time as a player and a manager. Its plot saw an English Premier League club introducing a therapy room where players could discuss their problems.
McNamara described the show as “close to the bone” with plenty of swearing. It was a rather X-rated sitcom, and the former Celtic player admitted it would have to be shown after the watershed.
Considering there was one scene in which players inside a cupboard were spying on a teammate enjoying some post-match entertainment with a girl, that’s not surprising.
That pilot episode was filmed and screened, but like the movie career of Bobby Petta, it came to a sudden end.
Chris Morris – Cornish Pasties
Chris Morris played for Celtic between 1987 and 1992 and had a successful international career with the Republic of Ireland. 1997 saw him end his playing career with Middlesbrough. He stayed in the Northeast and worked in property development.
Although playing for Ireland, Morris was born in Cornwall. A delicious job awaited him as he took over his family business in Newquay.
His father was a successful butcher but had to give up work due to illness. Morris used his business skills to change the butcher’s shop into one selling Cornish pasties. Not that he was going to be making them himself. “I have made the odd pasty, but I don’t think I was any use to the pasty production line,” said the former Celtic and Ireland defender.
The business expanded (like the waistlines of those eating the Cornish pasties) with other shops opened in Cornwall.
Football was still in his blood, though, and Morris eventually applied to get his coaching badges and returned to the game, working for the FA in Cornwall.