It seems like once you’re in the game, you’re in the game for life – the game of competition that is! It doesn’t matter which sport you evolve to, but once you live the life of pro competition, it’s really hard to give up the reins and go quietly into the sunset. Whilst some footballers become famous winning coaches, others like to take a more passive role in the world of sports and that’s why a number of former pro players get into the horses. Here are just four Premier League footballers who have turned race horse owners in recent years.
Not included in this count are those from the Championship and other pro and semi pro clubs to have given over to owning or training horses. This year, as the season progresses for both sports, it will be interesting to wager on horses based on that footballer turned owner’s style of competing! It would be interesting to tally the bets this year and weigh the 2017 Grand National odds – Will Hill betting site to see if anyone really did give odds to former players turned owners!
1) Former Striker – Michael Owen
In an interview with the BBC way back in 2013, former striker Michael Owen was asked to compare his former sport (football) to his current passion as an owner of some of the UK’s finest racehorses. Speaking candidly, Owen said that horse racing is much more ‘nerve wracking’ than football, but even so, he has a dream of one day riding a horse in a real race. It looks like this will be the year for this former player who had great years with:
- Real Madrid
- Manchester United
- Newcastle United
- Stoke City
And also for the England national team. In November, Owen will realize his dream of riding in a competition, the Prince’s Countryside Fund race set to take place 24 November, 2017. Fans everywhere wish Michael James Owen all the best as he enters a new arena later this year.
2) Forward – Wayne Rooney
Although still active in football, at least through 2018, Wayne Rooney made his entry into the world of horseracing with his horse he called Switcharooney, a name par for the course as the footballer began his switcheroo to another sport. Although his entry into the world of horse racing didn’t see any wins, it appears as though Rooney has not given up hope in his new endeavour and will spend more time and effort once his career in football has come to a glorious conclusion.
3) Midfielder – Joey Barton
Also still currently active in the game is Joey Barton who is currently playing for Burnley. What Barton is most noted for in the world of horse racing is his untypical way of coming up with names for his horses. This midfielder names his race horses, believe it or not, after what his current favourite song happens to be at the moment. Apparently Barton is an ardent Arctic Monkeys fan because two of his horses are named after tracks of the group, My Propeller and Crying Lightning. Actually, they are great names for race horses because both names imply speed and energy.
4) Manager – Sir Alex Ferguson
This year, you will likely see Sir Alex Ferguson, who was once a manager for Manchester United, at the Grand National because this is one event he rarely misses. With a crowd the size of Grand National in Liverpool, it may be a bit difficult to spot him but if you look closely, he is most likely going to be there amidst the teaming masses ready to see if this is the year their wagers pay off.
So there you have just four active and former footballers who have transitioned quite nicely to racehorse owners. Some dream of riding in competition while others are simply content to own fine stock in the hopes of winning a championship. Look closely at the Grand National as there are more footballer/owners out there who just might be amongst the crowds.