10 interesting career choices by former Norwich City players

From a priest to a funeral director, former Canary players have been up to all sorts since they retired.

From a priest to a funeral director, former Canary players have been up to all sorts since they retired. - Credit: Archant

Playing professional football for a living is a short career.

If the average player retires in their mid-30s, then that leaves a lot of spare time - and there is only so much golf you can play!

Here are 10 former Norwich City players that went on to have a surprising second career.


Former NCFC player turned teaching assistant Robert Fleck with Max, 12, at Parkside School.Picture:

Robert Fleck is now a teaching assistant at a school for children with complex needs. - Credit: Archant

Robert Fleck – Teaching Assistant 

With over 299 appearances across two spells with the Canaries, you could be excused for thinking the last place you’d find former Scottish international Robert Fleck would be a classroom. However, over three decades on from last playing for Norwich City, Fleck is now a teaching assistant at a school for children with complex needs.

In 2016, Fleck told this paper: "I really enjoy helping the children, whether it's working with them in the classroom or with life skills out in the city. And I try to make things fun. Life doesn't have to be too serious. I try and bring a bit of sunshine!"


John Fashanu and his brother Justin, both ex-NCFC players. Photo: Archant Library

Pictured alongside his brother Justin, John Fashanu became a television star following his football career.


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John Fashanu - TV Star

Having only played seven times for Norwich City between 1978 and 1983, it was at Wimbledon where Fashanu really made his name. However, after retiring from football in 1995, the former England international turned to reality television and became a presenter for the UK version of Gladiators co-presenting alongside Ulrika Jonsson.

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In 2003, he appeared on the second series of 'I'm a Celebrity' before taking part in a football special edition of Come Dine With Me ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

NCFC v Hull 2008. at Carrow Road. Dion Dublin; Photo:Antony Kelly;

In 2015, Dublin became a co-host for Homes Under the Hammer. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2008

Dion Dublin - TV Presenter

Dion Dublin is a name familiar to most in English football and has 111 Premier League goals to his name. Following a successful career with the likes of Coventry City, Aston Villa and of course, Norwich City, Dublin took to presenting and in 2015 became a co-host for Homes Under the Hammer.

Dublin is also something of a pioneer, having invented a percussion instrument called "The Dube".


Norwich City's Leon McKenzie celebrates his first goal for the club during the match at IpswichPic S

McKenzie enjoyed a four-year boxing career, finishing in 2017 with eight wins from 11 fights after his football career finished. - Credit: Archant

Leon McKenzie - Boxer

The former Norwich City striker endeared himself to Canary fans almost immediately with two goals against arch-rivals Ipswich Town on his debut in December 2003. During his time with the club, McKenzie made 81 appearances and scored 22 goals.

McKenzie's father is Clinton McKenzie, the former British and European boxing champion and in 2013 after retiring from football, Leon decided to follow in his footsteps. McKenzie enjoyed a four-year boxing career, finishing in 2017 with eight wins from 11 fights.


Phil Mulryne celebrates scoring during a vital win at Reading in April 2004, as Norwich City closed

After retiring from football in 2009, Mulryne became a priest. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press ©2004

Phillip Mulryne - Priest

Perhaps the most bizarre career choice on this list is the case of Phillip Mulryne. Having played for Norwich between 1999 and 2005, he made 161 appearances and scored 18 goals. After retiring from football in 2009, he began formation for the Roman Catholic priesthood.

Mulryne studied philosophy at Queen's University Belfast and at the Maryvale Institute for two years.

Subsequently, he qualified for the Pontifical Irish College, Rome studying theology for one year at the Gregorian University before discerning a call to a religious life.

He entered the Dominican Novitiate House in Cork in 2012.


Clive Payne

Clive Payne set up a windows business after he retired from professional football. - Credit: Archant

Clive Payne - Business Owner

Clive Payne was an old-fashioned right-back and a key member of the team that won the Second Division championship in 1972.

Payne made 150 appearances for the club, scoring three goals.

Now 71 years of age, he set up Aylsham Windows after he finished playing but is now retired.

Alex Notman on the run for City. Picture: Bill Smith

Today, Alex Notman works in the oil and gas industry after he retired due to injury aged just 23. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2002

Alex Notman - Project Engineer

Alex Notman's football career was over before it had even properly started. A Manchester United youth prospect, Notman was forced to retire aged just 23 in 2003 following an ankle injury sustained the previous year against Ipswich Town.

Today, Notman is working as a project engineer as a contractor within the oil and gas industry and has embraced his new career over the past decade.

Notman told the PinkUn in 2017: "I would’ve been coming to the end of my career now and worrying about what I was going to do next – but I’ve got a future and a career ahead of me I can go on with.”

Greg Downs

After retiring from football, Greg Downs became a police officer. - Credit: Archant

Greg Downs - Police Officer

Greg Downs actually started his career as a striker before becoming a left back early in his career. Downs spent nine years with the Canaries and made 206 appearances during his time with the club.

After retiring from professional football in 1995, Downs became a police officer.


Paul McVeigh in action during Cup match against Chelsea. Picture: Bill Smith

Paul McVeigh in action during Cup match against Chelsea. Picture: Bill Smith - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2002

Paul McVeigh - Motivational Speaker

The former Northern Ireland international forward was a fan favourite during his time in Norfolk. Having made 246 appearances across two spells, Paul McVeigh was a big part of Nigel Worthington's 2004 promotion winning team. 

Today, McVeigh is a keynote speaker and an expert in elite performance. His goal is to empower individuals to understand that their mindset and thinking habits unlock the required behaviours that are necessary for elite performance.


Terry Allcock

Terry Allcock is Norwich City's second highest goalscorer of all time. - Credit: Archant

Terry Allcock - Funeral Directors

The former City forward was part of one of the club's most successful FA Cup runs as Norwich reached the semi-finals. Allcock scored 127 goals in 389 games during his time with the Canaries and that total means he sits in second place in the club's all-time record goalscorers list, only trailing Johnny Gavin.

Following Allcock's retirement from the game, he set up Allcock Family Funeral Services which is still a family-run business today.

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