10 Celebs Who Could've Been Footballers - Feat. Man Utd, Rangers, Nottingham Forest

Actually eight and two bullsh***ers.
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Actually eight and two bullsh***ers.

10. Steve Nash

The Phoenix Suns point guard has become one of the greats of basketball but he could have been lost to football. Nash's Spurs-supporting father was born in England and passed on his love of football to his children, with Steve's younger brother Martin going on to playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Canada.

Nash was a keen footballer in his youth and has claimed that he could have made it as a professional had he focused on it, rather than opting  to for a career on the court. He is currently part of the ownership team of the Vancouver Whitecaps and has spoken about his desire to one day invest in his beloved Tottenham Hotspur.

9. Julio Iglesias

Before becoming a professional singer-songwriter who would sell 300 million records, Julio Iglesias was a goalkeeper in Real Madrid's youth side. Were it not for a horrific accident Iglesias could have made his career as a shot stopper rather than as a romantic balladeer.

The Spanish superstar was involved in a car accident which saw him suffer a compression of the spinal cord. It was thought that Iglesias might not be able to walk again but he slowly began to recover his mobility. In order to develop the dexterity in his hands Iglesias started to play the guitar. His career as a goalkeeper might have been over but a new one was about to begin.

8. Daley Thompson

As a two-time Olympic gold winning decathlete Daley Thompson was used to turning his hand to a variety of different sports, but it was still a surprise when he hung up his athletics spikes and swapped them for a pair of football boots.

Retiring from the track in 1992, Thompson had a spell as a striker for Mansfield Town in 1995 at the age of 37. He then played for Stevenage Borough before becoming a fitness coach for Wimbledon and Luton Town. Considering that Thompson only took up the game at an age where most players are thinking about retiring, it makes you wonder what he might have achieved had he chosen football over athletics.

7. Johnny Marr

When John Maher was a youngster his ambition was to be a footballer. Instead he would go on to form indie gods The Smiths with Morrissey and be known to the world as Johnny Marr.

The guitarist had trials with Manchester City at 16, while Nottingham Forest were also keen to sign him. He has claimed that he didn't take the game seriously enough to make it as a pro and told Four Four Two magazine: "I was good enough for City, but they didn't follow up because I was probably the only player out there wearing eyeliner."

6. David Frost

David Frost and Brian Clough were both portrayed on screen by the actor Michael Sheen, but they could have had something else in common.

Clough was a legend at Nottingham Forest, the club which offered a contract to Frost in the late-fifties, which he rejected in order to study at Cambridge University. Frost would later made his name as an interviewer and secured a football scoop in 2008 when he chatted to Sir Alex Ferguson, in what was the Manchester United manager's first in-depth TV interview for ten years.

5. Gordon Ramsay

It is well-known that the TV chef Gordon Ramsay turned out for Rangers, but it seems that he came closer to becoming a professional footballer in his own mind than in reality. Ramsay has claimed that he played in three pre-season friendlies for Rangers' first team before a knee injury saw his football career cut short.

These claims have been challenged by Rangers, who have stated that Ramsay was only ever a triallist at the club and never actually played for the first team. In his autobiography the chef claimed that he was released by Jock Wallace and Archie Knox, despite the fact that Knox was the manager of Dundee at the time. Whilst Ramsay obviously had a certain amount of football talent, it was clearly no match for his imagination.

4 and 3. The Waugh Bros

Steve and Mark Waugh were two great Australian cricketers, but could have just as easily ended up playing for the Socceroos. The twins were equally gifted at football as they were in cricket and during their youth were enthusiastic about both sports.

By the age of 16 the Waughs were both playing for Sydney Croatia in the state league. Steve Waugh has stated that the time came when they had to choose between football and cricket and they chose the latter due to the lack of professional football opportunities that existed in Australia at the time.

2. Rod Stewart

Like Gordon Ramsay, there is a certain confusion as to how close Rod Stewart came to making it as a professional footballer. As a youngster Stewart played for Middlesex Schoolboys as a centre-back and claimed to have signed for Brentford in 1961, but left after two months because he didn't like having to clean the first team's boots.

Brentford tell a different story. They have no record of Stewart signing for the club and claim that he merely spent a couple of weeks training with the club. So what's the truth Rod? Maybe he doesn't want to talk about it.

1. Sean Connery

Not many people turn down Manchester United but for Sean Connery it was probably the correct decision. As a young actor on tour in the musical South Pacific, Connery played in a local football match that was being scouted by the United manager Matt Busby.

Busby offered Connery a contract worth £25 a week, but though the Scot admitted he was tempted to sign, he decided to stick with acting. "I realised that a top-class footballer could be over the hill by the age of 30, and I was already 23. I decided to become an actor and it turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves."

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