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Sometimes “stick to football” is excellent advice.
Whether it is at the end of their careers or during their twilight years, some players truly believe their next big move is onto the television screens.
Unfortunately, their on-screen demeanour, presence, and personality skills very rarely match their capacity to stick a ball in the top corner or surge into a crunching tackle.
Nevertheless, confident and completely undeterred, many footballers jump head first into any television opportunities, to our utter and grateful amusement.
And with this in mind, Daily Star Sport considers 10 footballers who made plonkers of themselves on television…
Whether it has been with his dazzling natural talent on the pitch, his inspirational management, or his cutting-edge analysis on television, Glenn Hoddle will always be a prized antique of the English game.
However Hoddle, quite literally, became one when he starred on ITV’s infamous ‘The Masked Singer’ program as a Grandfather Clock.
While dressed as if he was part of a poor amateur dramatics production of Beauty and the Beast, Hoddle sang Frank Sinatra’s ‘You make me feel so young’ and Barry Manilow’s Can’t Smile Without You’.
"It was so endearing when I saw it I fell in love,” Hoddle lovingly said about his costume.
HAVE YOUR SAY! What other embarrassing television moments can you remember from footballers past and present? Comment below
His fearlessness of 50-50 challenges and fierceness in the face of on-rushing attackers meant former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman was not unaccustomed to injuring himself or other players.
However, the former England international proved old habits do not die hard as he accidentally injured not one, but two partners when he appeared on Dancing on Ice in 2006.
Unfortunately for his first dance partner Pam O’Connor, Seaman’s hands were nowhere near as safe on ice, as they were on the football pitch, as he dropped her on her face and split her chin open, while performing the infamous ‘Headbanger’ move.
With O’Connor ruled out for the next show, Seaman took to the ice with Russian dancer Natalia Petrova, and then sent her flying, after he lost her balance.
He then appeared on Dancing on Ice again in 2008, but instead of injuring his partner Frankie Poultney, he went on to marry her seven years later in 2015.
The former Manchester United and Leeds United star always fancied himself as a bit of a geezer.
But he took his confidence to another level when he starred on the first seried of Celebrity Love Island.
He was coupled with former Atomic Kitten star Liz McClarnon, but finished just outside the Champions League places in 6 th place.
Unfortunately, it was a little bit too cringeworthy, and their partnership did not extend to outside of the Island and its many cameras.
The footballing world jumped for joy when they heard beloved former Arsenal star Ian Wright was going to be on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.
And the England star and television pundit did not disappoint, as he was hilarious in nearly every single trial he did.
The dark, anything that crawls or jumps out at him unexpectedly, and dirty dishes proved to be his greatest fears in the jungle.
Just like his prime years in the famous red and white of the Gunners, Wright regularly hit the back of the net.
Liverpool legend Bruce Grobbelaar served up some miraculous saves during his time in the sticks for the Reds, so the shot-stopper thought he would try his hand at serving up some good food in the process.
Grobbelaar was a fierce presence in goal for the Merseysiders back in the day, but he certainly met his match in Hells Kitchen behemoth and mentor to Gordon Ramsey, Marco Pierre White.
However, after seeing his wife eating in the very dining room, he was serving food to, Grobbelaar decided to hang up his chef’s whites because he really missed her.
"My wife was eating at Hell's Kitchen and I realised my place should be out there with her,” Grobbelaar said before he left the kitchen.
Neil Razor Ruddock was a terrifying presence on the football pitch, but the former defender proved to be even scarier in the kitchen.
While he was not scything his vegetables down with the very hard-blooded tackles he became known for, Ruddock took an interesting approach when he hosted his evening during a footballers’ episode of Come Dine With Me.
He competed against former stars Carlton Palmer, John Fashanu, and Frank Worthington in a bid to be crowned the best cook of the lot.
And the former England defender took a bit of a gamble, by cooking all of his dishes naked, with only an apron to protect his modesty.
Believably, it did not seal the prize for him as Palmer ended up winning the whole lot.
One could be forced to eat kangaroo testicles on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, and it would still be more dignified than an appearance on the Jeremy Kyle Show.
However, the infamous former ITV show was blessed with the appearance of ex-Liverpool ace and Champions League finalist Jermaine Pennant.
Unfortunately, the former midfielder’s trial by Jeremy Kyle could not have been more excruciating as he refused to take a lie detector test when asked if he cheated on his wife Alice Goodwin.
Goodwin’s suspicious arose when Pennant was on Celebrity Big Brother, where he was allegedly flirting with housemate Chloe Ayling.
For those unfamiliar with Byron Moreno, he was the infamous Ecuadorian referee who was at the centre of Italy’s shock exit from the 2002 World Cup.
Several dubious decisions including the red card of Francesco Totti and Damiano Tommasi’s golden goal led to the Azzurri being knocked out by hosts South Korea in the Round of 16.
But Italy got their own back on the referee by drowning him with gallons and gallons of water in their bizarre game-show Stupido Hotel.
Fortunately, Moreno proved he does have a sense of humour and took the soaking like an absolute champion.
Considering the scandals, bizarreness, and eccentricity of the late Diego Maradona, it is almost easy to forget that he was once quite good at football.
“Which one,” is the typical response when asked about the former Argentinean World Cup winner’s gaffes, but one of his most infamous was his appearance on the Big Brotherovi house.
He made a fleeting visit to the reality show where Silvina Luna, a supermodel he had supposedly had an affair with, just happened to be there at the time.
Most footballer’s careers would be encapsulated by a moment as embarrassing as that, yet Maradona was so good, many often forget his brief career as a reality television star.
Former West Ham United and Portsmouth goalkeeper David James was masterful with a set of goalkeeper gloves – unfortunately he was nowhere near as adept with oven gloves.
James appeared on a Sport Relief special of the Great British Bake-Off in 2016 and left fans in stitches with his questionable cooking knowledge and even more eye-brow raising food.
The former shot-stopper chose to stray ever so massively from the brief when he made canapes the size of Cornish pasties and an American Football Helmet shaped cake which looked like a deflated ball from the 1920s.
Bake-Off judge Paul Hollywood stared into James’ soul with his White Walker like Blue Eyes and murmured, “David. It wasn’t you day.”
It does not get much worse than that.
- Premier League
- Diego Maradona
- Ian Wright
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