April 30, 2019
An ex-professional football player has forged a new career after being forced to hang up his boots in his late twenties due to injury.
Twenty years on from Hull City FC’s famous ‘Great Escape’ season of 1998/1999, the sporting press have been reminiscing about those times and taking a look at where the players from those days are now. One of those players, Striker Craig Dudley (39), was revealed to have struck out on a new career path following his retirement from professional football in 2006.
Despite reaching an FA Cup and having spells in the Premier League in recent years, back in 1998/1999 season the Tigers were on the verge of extinction, sitting dead bottom of the Football League pyramid, nine points adrift at the foot of League Two. Finally, in November 1998 the warring Hull City board made a change and appointed Warren Joyce as interim Player-Manager in a last ditch effort to rescue the club. Despite the club being in dire financial straits, having to beg, borrow and call in favours in order to access training facilities and get transport to games, Joyce managed to stop the rot and save the club from disappearing out of the Football League.
Speaking in 2014, Joyce said ‘the football was very, very basic… we had to simplify the game-plan. It was built on running power, fitness and a few counter-attacks but we had spirit.’ He went on to describe his players at that time by saying he was ‘in charge of this motley crew of players, cast-offs. No-one else wanted them. We couldn’t get anyone else.’ One member of that motley crew was striker Craig Dudley who arrived at Hull City FC on loan from Notts County. Dudley, then a fresh-faced 20 year old went on to make seven appearances for the Tigers during his loan spell, chipping in with two goals.
Miraculously the motley crew went on to survive the drops despite the odds being heavily stacked against them. The mastermind Joyce was rewarded for his efforts with an appointment as permanent manager at the end of the season. Unfortunately within a year, he was out on his ear but went on to carve a reputation as a good development coach with a spell at Leeds United before stepping up to the big-time as head of Manchester United’s Reserve Team.
But what of Craig Dudley? Craig returned to Notts County at the end of the season where he scored three goals in 31 appearances and had further loan spells at Shrewsbury Town and Telford United before securing a permanent move to Oldham Athletic and later Burton Albion where he made a combined 151 appearances, scoring 20 goals. Unfortunately Craig’s footballing career was cut short when in 2006 he sustained a serious injury, forcing him to retire from the sport in 2006 at the age of 27.
Despite the obvious disappointment, Craig needed a new career and that is when he found driving instructing. To this day he works as a full-time as Driving Instructor in and around the Oldham area. Are you looking for a new career like Craig Dudley was? You may not have been a professional footballer, but you can become a Driving Instructor! If you are looking for job satisfaction, flexible working hours and the opportunity to be your own boss then a career as a Driving Instructor might just be for you. To find out more about how to make this career a change a reality, head over to myfourwheels.co.uk today and take your first steps on the road to becoming a driving instructor!
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