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Monday 20th December 2021
Six Footballers Who Have More Than Just a Passing Interest in Horse Racing

Back in the 1970s and 80s, there appeared to be something of an unwritten rule that all retiring football players would go on to own and run a pub. It was just considered the next logical step for those who no longer played the game and didn’t have a coaching or managerial role lined up.

Now, players tend to have loftier, dare we say it, more fun and financially profitable goals, such as owning a racehorse or two. Again, the connection between footballers and horse racing is a long and complicated one.

It’s true that many footballers are known to like a flutter and betting on the horses was a common pastime for those with too much time on their hands and a great deal of disposable income. You might say that the connection between footballers and horses was, in this way, an unhealthy one.

Let’s be honest, betting on the horses can be a tricky proposition, especially if you are not well up on the form of the horse or stable in question. A good punter can of course look to find the best odds around, on that front here are the best betting sites according to Even then, you are still resting your hopes on a fast-moving animal with a human placed precariously on top.

The advent of the Premier League, which led to footballers moving from being relatively comfortably well off to being millionaires, has meant that those who left the game had the money to get really involved with horse racing.

Instead of placing money on the off chance that your horse might come in first or finish each way, now a retired player was making money from owning the horse in question.

With this in mind, here are six footballers who have a genuine love of horse racing and have gotten themselves firmly involved with the sport.

Michael Owen

Yes, the former Liverpool and England man is a fairly atrocious pundit but he does seem to know his way around a horse. The sharpshooting striker owns around 40 racehorses that he operates from his Manor House Stables in leafy Cheshire. He has made a successful career out of his horses, and one might hope this means he’ll spend less time in a tv studio making bizarre comments and assertions after a big game.

Joey Barton

The mouthy midfielder had a real rollercoaster of a career as a player, followed by an up and down time as a manager, and is said to have owned a few horses—some of which he named after Arctic Monkeys songs.

Wayne Rooney

The current Derby County manager will have a hell of a time trying to keep the Rams in the Championship given their 21-point deduction and the former Man United man might be looking for a miracle. The former England international is said to have had a number of horses over the years but by all accounts, they didn’t prove all that effective.

John Terry

The accomplished defender, who has perhaps become more well-known for his extra-marital antics (let’s hope Wayne Bridge isn’t reading this), has also dabbled in horse-related activity, more specifically with dressage. If you are unsure what dressage entails, it’s more akin to horses moving stylistically around a course than racing against others.

Robbie Fowler

You may not know this but Robbie Fowler, who was of course a goal-machine at Liverpool, has actually arguably been more of a success (financially speaking) since he hung up his boots. He has an extensive property investment portfolio and also runs a number of horses. One estimate states that the striker’s total net worth is north of £40m, not bad for a player who is synonymous with THAT goal celebration…

Vinnie Jones

Such has been the nature of this footballing hardman’s post-playing career that many may not even know that he was once a relatively successful defensive midfielder. The former Wimbledon and Leeds man, capped nine times by Wales, brought an end to his playing career in 1999, and months before doing so, he had impressed many with his performance in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. He’s gone on to appear in a number of other big successes and also owns horses. He also released an album in 2002, and for your own sake, don’t try to find it.