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You'll never guess who I had in the front of my cab? Ten footballers who became cabbies

11 May 2019

 

Taxi divers are used to picking up people from all professional denominations, the rich, the famous, heroes, and villains, taxi drivers all over the world have had them all in the back of their cabs at one time or another, but what happens when the tables are turned, and you find yourself driven by one of your footballing heroes.

 

Here are 10 former professional footballers who swapped taking on a full-back to taking on the traffic and became cab drivers.

Trevor Aylott:

Trevor started his football career as a product of the Chelsea youth set-up in 1975, before making his first team debut in 1976. The striker made 29 league appearances for The Blues, scoring 2 goals, before being sold to Barnsley in 1979. 

 

He went on to play for Millwall, Luton Town, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Birmingham City, Oxford United and Gillingham, making a total of 472 appearances and scoring 90 goals.

In 1984, he was one of Steve Coppell's first signings for Crystal Palace, and finished the 1984-85 season as their top scorer with 8 league goals. 

 

Trevor retired from football in the mid 90s and went on to become a cabbie.

 

John Bumstead:

John Bumstead, like Trevor Aylott, was also a product of the Chelsea youth system, making his league debut in 1978 at the age of 20. 

 

John went on to make 409 appearances, and scoring 44 goals from midfield, in all competitions for Chelsea, before moving to Charlton where he made 56 appearances, scoring 3 goals, before hanging up his boots to drive a taxi.

 

John Sitton:

60 year old John Sitton started life on both Arsenal and Chelsea's youth team books. The uncompromising defender then went on to make his debut for Chelsea in 1977, playing 13 times for the club before heading south-east to The Den after turning down Wimbledon in a £10,000 move. In total he made 343 league appearances, scoring 13 goals, for Chelsea, Millwall, Gillingham and Leyton Orient, where he was made club captain by Frank Clark in 1995. "Sitts" also enjoyed a brief stint at Slough Town before retiring from playing, however his footballing career didn't end there.

 

Upon completing his coaching badges, Sitton eventually went on to co-managed the O's with Chris Turner. Sitton performed an incredible SIX roles at the financially beleaguered club, also appearing in Channel Four's fly on the wall football documentary "Leyton Orient: Yours for a Fiver."

 

It was in that programme that John hit the headlines after sacking defender Terry Howard on camera in the dressing room at half-time in a game against Blackpool, as well as offering to fight two other players after going 1-0 down. The O's subsequently lost the game 1-0.

 

In 1997 John signed onto The Knowledge and passed to become a London taxi driver in 2003.

 

Steve Potts:

US born Steve Potts spent most of his playing career at West Ham. The 52 year old made more than 500 appearances for the Hammers in all competitions, scoring a single goal during his West Ham carreer, in a 7-1 win against Hull.

 

The full-back then had a  stint at Dagenham and Redbridge making a total of 24 appearances, before retiring aged 36.

 

After spending some tine as a coach at West Ham, Potts did The Knowledge and became a licensed London taxi driver in 2007.

 

Micky Hazard:

Sunderland born central midfielder, Mickey Hazard, started out at Spurs as a youth team player at the age of 14. Although prone to homesickness he finally settled in the club, making his League debut in 1980, aged 20, in  3-0 win against Everton. He played in the 1982 FA Cup final as well as the 1984 UEFA Cup final against Anderlecht, where he had an assist in goals by Paul Miller in the first leg and Graham Roberts in the second leg to leave the tie ending after a 2-2 on aggregate draw, which Spurs eventually win 4-3 on penalties.

 

After making 91 league appearances for Spurs, scoring 13 goals,  he was subject a £300,000 transfer across London to Chelsea, where he made 81 league appearances, scoring 3 goals.

 

After leaving Chelsea he had a brief spell at Portsmouth, before moving to Swindon Town where he went on to make 120 appearances, before returning to White Hart Lane, finishing his career with 312 league appearances and 42 goals.

 

Since retiring from the game, Hazard has dipped in and out of football on a coaching and advisory level. 

 

The central midfielder became a London cabbie in 2006, and is in fact the only taxi driver in the UK to hold a winners medal from any major European club football competition.

 

This seasons Champions League and Europa League finals should hold special significance for Hazard, after playing for both clubs, and winning a Uefa Cup winners medal with Spurs.

 

Jimmy Glass:

Who? I hear you say! Yes, Jimmy Glass, a former Carlise United goalkeeper, who scored quite possibly, the most important goal in the clubs history. 

 

Jimmy is now a taxi driver in Dorset, and runs a taxi firm in Wimborne, Minster, but in a previous life wrote himself into footballing folklore.

 

Jimmy was a journeyman goalkeeper, who played for a total of 15 clubs, making a total of 169 appearances.

 

He played for, amongst others, Crystal Palace, where he was an unused sub in the 1995 FA Cup semi final replay against Manchester United, Bornemouth, Swindon, Brentford, Oxford and Carlisle.

 

It was at Carlisle, where he was on loan, that he made history by scoring a 90th minute winner against Plymouth Argyle, thus keeping Carlisle in the league on the back of that 2-1 win, relegating Scarborough to Conference football. 

 

The goal prompted one of the most famous radio commentaries of all time with BBC Radio Cumbria commentator Derek Lacey saying: "So.....deep, deep, deep, I make it sixty seconds. Jimmy Glass knocks it long. It comes now to Bagshaw. Bagshaw back to Anthony. Up to Stevens.....and the ball goes out now for a corner to Carlisle United - will they have time to take it? 

 

Referee looks at his watch.....and here comes Jimmy Glass! Carlisle United goalkeeper Jimmy Glass is coming up for the kick – everyone is going up.....there isn't one player in the Carlisle half! Well, well.....and the corner kick comes in...

.and.....the goalkeeper's punch

....oh.....Jimmy Glass! Jimmy Glass! Jimmy Glass, the goalkeeper, has scored a goal for Carlisle United! There's a pitch invasion! There is a pitch invasion! The referee has been swamped – they're bouncing on the crossbar!"

 

Jimmy Glass's goal was selected as the 72nd greatest sporting moment ever by the Channel 4 programme 100 Greatest Sporting Moments, it was also ranked 7th in The Times newspaper's list of the 50 most important goals in football history. His Puma boots were donated to the National Football Museum in 2014. 

 

Peter Shreeve:

Welshman, Peter Shreeve, was born in 1940. Never recognised for pulling up many trees as a player, Shreeve, an old style inside-forward played for Reading, making 113 appearances and scoring 17 goals between 1959 amd 1966.

 

He later played for Wimbledon before they entered the football league, playing 82 games for the Dons and scoring 2 goals.

 

It was at managerial level that Shreeve excelled, having a long association with Spurs. 

 

He bacame manager to the North London ckub in 1984, guiding them to 3rd in the old First Division.

 

Shreeve also had association with Charlton, Chelsea, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, and was assistant manager of Wales.

 

Shreeve undertook The Knowledge to become a licensed London cabbie after breaking his leg against Grimsby in the late 50s, at the same time he also took his FA coaching badge at Lilleshall.

 

Derek Richardson:

Derek Richardson played for Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers, where he spent most of his time as understudy to Phil Parkes, making just 31 appearances. He joined Sheffield Wednesday, where he played 42 times and Coventry, where he retired from the game in 1982 at the age of just 26.

 

He later played non-League football with Maidstone United, Welling United and Fisher Athletic, before becoming a London taxi driver. 

 

Gary Mason:

40 year old Gary Mason started life as a midfielder with Manchester City, making 19 appearances for the side.

 

The Scotsman then moved to Hartlepool on loan, before joining Dunfermline, where he played 204 times, acoring 9 goals, before being shipped out to St Mirren, Hamilton and then back to Dunfermline.

 

He made in total 365 appearances, scoring 13 goals.

 

Gary has now retired from the game and is plying his trade as a taxi driver in a small fishing town near Edinburgh.

 

Willie Fernie:

Now if you are a Celtic, or a Middlesborough fan of a certain age, then Willie Fernie will trip off the tongue along with many of the Scottish greats over the decades.

 

Willie started out at Celtic in 1950, scoring 47 goals in 194 appearances for the hoops, winning the league and cup double and 2 scottish league cups. 

 

The little forwards efforts during his time with Celtic were rewarded with a call up to the Scottish national squad. He was selected for the 1954 and 1958 Scottish World cup squads where he played in 3 games across the two World Cups. In total he played 12 times for Scotland, scoring a single international goal, against Wales.

 

In 1958 he joined Middlesbrough, partnering Brian Clough up front, who at the time was the most potent striker in the country scoring an incredible 197 goals in just 213 appearances.

 

Willie managed a mere 3 goals in 65 games for the North East club, before returning to Celtic.

 

After stints at St Mirren, Partick and Alloa, Fraserburgh, Coleraine and Bangor, he finally hung up his boots in 1965.

 

Fernie returned to Celtic in 1967 as reserve team coach. He was instrumental in the development of young players at the club, which included Kenny Dalglish, Danny McGrain and Davie Hay.

 

Willie was subsequently appointed manager of Kilmarnock in October 1973. He led his team to a 16 match unbeaten run and promotion in 1974. 

 

They gained another promotion to the new Scottish Premier Division in 1976, however, the team struggled in the top flight and were relegated in 1977.

 

Willie was sacked in October 1977 and was never again employed in football. 


He then became a taxi driver, sadly passing away in 2011, aged 82, after suffering from Alzheimer's disease. 

 

Other former players who have either held a cab license or are studying to obtain a license are plentiful.

 

Players such as Brighton 'keeper Luke Colquhoun is currently studying the Knowledge, former Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea striker Luke Moore is involved with the cab industry. David Hagen and David Farrell of Falkirk and Hibernian respectively, are cabbies, whilst former Arsenal midfielder David Price drives a minicab in Croydon.

 

So don't be too surprised if you get a UEFA cup winning taxi driver behind the wheel of the cab that you may be travelling in.

 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons 

Image Author: Open Media Ltd

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