Meet 2016 Premier League Winners Who Are Currently Unemployed and Play Kick Abouts to Keep Fit

Meet 2016 Premier League Winners Who Are Currently Unemployed and Play Kick Abouts to Keep Fit

Rene Otinga
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:25 PM
In this article:
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  • A number of former Premier League stars now find themselves without clubs in the twilight days of their career
  • The biggest name in the bunch is Danny Drinkwater, who won the EPL against the odds with Leicester City in 2016
  • Drinkwater has teamed up with former teammate Danny Simpson and others to keep fit with training each week

A footballer’s career is one of the most volatile, especially in modern times.

One day, you could be a superstar with a humongous contract at a top team, and the next you could find yourself clubless and considering retirement.

It is not strange to see some big names in football reduced to becoming free agents, particularly in their thirties.

Danny Simpson, Danny Drinkwater
Danny Drinkwater and Danny Simpson pose with the Premier League Trophy after Leicester City beat Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016. Photo by Shaun Botterill.
Source: Getty Images

This is the case with former Leicester City and Chelsea midfielder, Danny Drinkwater, whose career is currently in free-fall.

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The box-to-box midfielder left the Foxes for £35-million to join Chelsea in 2017, but his spell at Stamford Bridge seems to have been the beginning of the end of his prime.

The Blues ended up loaning him four times in three seasons and he was eventually released after his latest loan spell with Reading.

His former teammate, Danny Simpson has not fared too well either.

After leaving Leicester, he joined Huddersfield before moving to Bristol City. His contract was eventually cancelled by mutual consent and he has been a free agent since.

Ex-players kick-about in Cheshire

The Telegraph recently caught up with Simpson, who revealed details of a group of free agent football stars who meet twice a week for kick-abouts in a bid to keep fit.

This is in the hopes that perhaps some of them will land a new club in the near future.

The group reportedly hires football pitches and in their amateur game, the winners claim the bragging rights while losers have to incur the costs of the day.

Among the former superstars involved in this initiative are Joleon Lescott, Nedum Onuoha, John O’Shea and former West Ham star, Raven Morrison.

Simpson, despite being without a club, maintains he is not retired and if an opportunity comes his way, he will take it.

“If someone needs a right-back, I have to be ready. Maybe that is my last hurrah.”

Andre Schurrle’s odd venture

Sports Brief also reported on another former superstar, Andre Schurrle, who has taken on a strange hobby since retiring from the game aged 29.

The German cited two things as his main reasons behind the decision to hang up his boots - loneliness and unending competition within the sport.

In January, Schurrle uploaded a series of photographs where he can be seen embarking on a hiking experience in temperatures below freezing point.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and