Almost half of professional footballers face the threat of bankruptcy within five years of their retirement. A third will be divorced less than a year after hanging up their boots. Retired, by Irish writer and award-winning stand-up Alan Gernon, asks what actually happens to most footballers once they hang up their boots? How do players cope with going from heroes to zeroes in such a short space of time?


Retired has already been described by Niall Quinn MBE as “The most important football book in a long time.”


On 4 May, the ex-Republic of Ireland striker and Sunderland chairman launched Fleet Street Sport & Media Group at the House of Lords. This pioneering new sports consultancy is especially concerned with the welfare of former players. Quinn finished his launch speech by reading from Retired – with Alan Gernon in attendance.


Retired reveals:

  • How some footballers deal with premature retirement through injury, where their career ends overnight.
  • The conditions that retired footballers live with when they hang up their boots.
  • The effects of concussion and brain-related injuries, including interviews with experts and family of Jeff Astle, first footballer to die from CTE.
  • How almost 150 former footballers have ended up in the UK prison systems.
  • Why 90% of these are incarcerated for drugs offences.
  • Why retired footballers are more prone to mental health issues than the general population.
  • How the sport can help those affected.
  • How having a passion alongside football can ease the transition to retirement.
  • How difficult it is for retired footballers to remain in the game as pundits and managers.
  • How retired footballers spend their remaining 16,000+ days (from the average age of retirement at 35 to the average life expectancy of 70 for a UK male.


Click here for more information, or to read a sample from Retired.


Click here for more information on Fleet Street Sport & Media Group.