June 20, 2024
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I was a Premier League star who played more than 500 games – but now I’m a COP armed with gun & driving fast cars

A PREMIER League star who has more than 500 games under his belt is now an armed cop who enforces the law. The 54-year-old made a half-century of appearances for five different English clubs across his career from 1995 to 2008. 5 A former Premier League star has left football behind for a life as”, — write: www.thesun.co.uk

A PREMIER League star who has more than 500 games under his belt is now an armed cop who enforces the law.

The 54-year-old made a half-century of appearances for five different English clubs across his career from 1995 to 2008.

A former Premier League star has left football behind for a life as a cop

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A former Premier League star has left football behind for a life as a copCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

The Dutch former star now spends his days solving crimes and catching crooks

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The Dutch former star now spends his days solving crimes and catching crooksCredit: YouTube

The defender competing with the ball against Thierry Henry back in 2004

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The defender competing with the ball against Thierry Henry back in 2004Credit: GettyBut the Dutch footballer has since returned back to his native country as a police officer specialising in forensics.

The ex-Prem defender now spends his time catching crooks instead of chasing down strikers.

Arjan de Zeeuw, who is best known in England for his spell at Wigan Athletic, has even claimed that his new job is filled with “fast cars and guns”.

In a 2020 podcast hosted by his former Latics team-mate Emmerson Boyce, De Zeeuw revealed that he is now living a “boys’ dream”.

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He said: “I still work with the Dutch police force, believe it not as an inspector, or detective as you call it.

“Having a medical degree, my first idea was to become a doctor, but at the time the Dutch police were looking for people with higher education to do a fast-track course into the police force.

“It sounded a little bit like a boys’ dream – being in fast cars and having a gun and all that stuff and I realised it was still going to take me a long time to become a doctor, whereas it was a much quicker route into the police force.”

He continued: “I realised that I loved playing football so much that I didn’t not want to play it and be on the side of the pitch all the time.

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“I realised I didn’t want to be on the football pitch not playing football, so I thought no, I’m not going to do all the badges and go into management.

“I’m just going to get completely out of football altogether.”

De Zeeuw hung up his boots in 2009 with ADO ’20 after making a mere 12 appearances.

I’m a former Premier League striker but now I’m a COP – I spend my days solving crimes & catching crooks

His stint at Coventry City the year before didn’t quite pan out due to nagging injuries preventing him from securing a regular spot in the Championship side.

De Zeeuw is also still into football and manages Vitesse 22 in the Dutch non-league.

Back in 2005 he earned a stunning tribute from the then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Newcastle fan Blair went on the BBC’s Football Focus to pick out three Prem players – England striker Teddy Sheringham, Fulham stylist Steed Malbranque and De Zeeuw.

Blair lasted another two years as PM while the Dutchman carried on playing until 2009, bowing out after a season with Dutch side ADO’20.

And Blair said of him: “He’s really strong, never gives up. I could do with him at the whips’ office!”

However, before starting his playing career, he completed a degree in medical science, which he is now putting to use in his investigative work.

Police work is like football, it’s still very much a team effort.”

Arjan De Zeuuw, 54

In 2014, he told BBC Sport: “I was looking at something else other than football.

“I’ve been in football that long and I thought I just need to look at the world a bit more.

“So I tried to get back into my medical studies and I bumped into a friend of mine who was a detective in Alkmaar, where we are now.”

Arjan continued: “It’s challenging. The good thing is it’s like football, it’s still very much a team effort.

“You’ll hardly ever solve a crime on your own.”

However, despite leaving the beautiful game behind as a career, he’s still joined up with the force’s team, who he generously described as “energetic”.

He joked: “You have to be careful for your legs with these.”

On top of that, he plays for the police’s national team, who qualified for the European final that year.

Discussing how his footie skills have kept up, he chuckled: “I’m lacking a bit of speed and a little bit of touch, but the competitive edge is still there.”

It’s possible he was just being modest though as he also recalled how his training came in handy when chasing down a suspect.

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The ex-Prem defender outlasted him for stamina and made the arrest.

He laughed: “I had enough pace to keep up.”

Former football stars with interesting jobs

Mathieu Flamini

Arsenal’s combative midfielder Flamini, 40, went from pro footballer to environmental entrepreneur as co-founder of GF Biochemicals.

The company is estimated to be worth £21billion thanks to its ability to mass-produce levulinic acid, which is a fuel made from plant waste that can be used in the creation of plastics.

Asamoah Gyan

Better known for his stunning 51-goal haul for Ghana than his two-year spell at Sunderland, the World Cup semi-finalist is on course for a very comfortable retirement.

Gyan’s business ventures in airlines, real estate, bottled water, boxing promotion, petrol stations and rice and noodles means his net worth is about £17million.

Robbie Fowler

Liverpool’s goalscoring legend hung up his shooting boots seven years ago but had already been building a sustainable income away from football long before then.

He is involved in horse-racing and has owned a sports promotion company since the 1990s.

But real estate is where Fowler shines as he reportedly owns more than 100 properties and has a net worth of more than £30m.

Thomas Gravesen

The Danish hardman delighted Everton fans with his take-no-prisoners approach on the pitch but stopped playing at the age of 32.

He went on to amass a tidy fortune through clever investments and then boosted his pot up to £100m through poker winnings in Las Vegas. 

Gravesen, 48, now works back in Denmark as a TV pundit.

De Zeuuw says he still enjoys playing football from time to time

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De Zeuuw says he still enjoys playing football from time to timeCredit: BBC

De Zeuuw made over 500 appearances for five different English clubs between 1995 and 2008

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De Zeuuw made over 500 appearances for five different English clubs between 1995 and 2008Credit: Getty

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