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Talbot enjoying life away from the game

With the passion Stewart Talbot used to show when patrolling the Rotherham midfield, often putting his body on the line for the cause, it seems impossible to think that he could fall out of love with the game.

But that’s what happened to the 41-year-old after injuries dogged his final few years as a professional.

He became so disillusioned that he completely turned his back on the game following his retirement in 2009 and has only picked up his boots twice since – once for Paul Warne’s testimonial match last year.

He went straight into a role in childcare but embarked on a new career this summer and is now loving his stress-free life.

“I was looking after kids who were abused and that is a very stressful job and people who do it deserve a lot of credit, because it is very demanding,” the former hardman said. “I did it for five years and then it was my time to go.

“Since July this year I have become an overhead linesman with Network Rail. It is a better job and less stressful, better hours and more time with my family, so I was lucky to get it.

“I work out of Crewe, it’s fantastic and I’m enjoying it, it’s good to have different challenges and keep yourself ticking over.

“It’s a physical job, but it’s completely different to anything I have done. I’m very lucky because I worked until I was 21 anyway, I didn’t come into football like normal people do.

Stewart Talbot doing what he did best for Rotherham over a four-year spell
“I was never scared about going back into the working world.

“By the time I finished in football I had quite enough of it. I’d had my fill so when I was done I was ready for something completely different.

“The last couple of years in my career, I had a lot of injuries and kind of lost a bit of love for the game, so I thought I would try something completely different and now I am away from it I can enjoy it more for entertainment but I have no real desire to have anything to do with football.

“Football is very high pressure and when you do it for 15 years of your life it is good to get away from it.”

Talbot’s view is not to say he did not have a great time in his career, the best of which came at Rotherham, where he was part of the memorable journey under Ronnie Moore, which won successive promotions and then held their own in the second tier.

“It is a fantastic life. You make some fantastic friends,” he added. “If you are a young person in your twenties playing football, there can’t be anything better. 

“But there are hidden pressures, especially when you are playing for some not so glamorous clubs.

Talbot fell out of love with the game and now works for Network Rail
“Not everyone is paid a fortune, which everyone thinks. Whenever you say you played football everyone expects you to be a millionaire, which I have found. 

"You have always got the same reaction, ‘why are you here’, ‘why do you need to work’.

“People always think you’ve made a fortune, regardless of who you play for. It is a fantastic life, but it had a shelf life. I did it and I enjoyed it, but I don’t miss it now I’m older with a family.

“I think I have kicked a ball twice in five years, once was for Warney’s testimonial and the other was a game of football with work and I don’t think I’ll be putting my boots back on!

“It’s not just my legs that have gone, it’s my hips, my back, everything.

“The reality is there is a reason why young men play the game and old men watch.”

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