Meet the sports stars who have turned their hands to the motor trade since hanging up the boots

  • Car Dealer looks at the sports stars who’ve turned to the used car market
  • Footballers and rugby players have turned their hands to motor trade in recent years
  • One former star has even claimed honours at the Car Dealer Used Car Awards

Time 7:30 am, February 20, 2024

From the outside, it would seem like the money in top class sport would be enough to set anyone up for life.

However, below the glitz and glamour of the modern day Premier League, stars from a range of sports have been left looking for a more ‘normal job’ after hanging up their boots.

For years, this largely meant buying a pub, but for some the used car trade has offered an income well after their sporting careers are behind them.

Here at Car Dealer, we have an office full of sports fanatics (okay we have one) so we have decided to take a look at the stars who have turned their hands to the motor trade after retiring.

Here is what we found…

John Moncur, football

Once dubbed ‘the funniest man in football’ by Rio Ferdinand, John Moncur’s outgoing nature has made him a natural when it comes to buying and selling used cars.

In a career which saw him take in spells at the likes of West Ham, Tottenham and Portsmouth, the likeable midfielder racked up close to 300 league appearances before hanging up his boots in 2003.

Since walking away from the beautiful game, Moncur has been a director at the family-run JFM Cars in Woodford.

According to the company’s website, his vision is to develop JFM Cars as a ‘family-run car business with the utmost integrity to source a wide range of vehicles to reach all people in the UK both VIP and the general public’.

The firm’s sales director – Moncur’s son, Freddy – also played professional football for Leyton Orient and was Highly Commended in the Future Star category at the 2022 Car Dealer Used Car Awards.

His older brother, George, is also named as part of the sales team, while continuing to play for Orient, who currently sit ninth in League 1.

Josh Navidi, rugby union

Car Dealer reported last year that Welsh rugby favourite Josh Navidi had turned his hand to the motor trade after being forced to retire due to injury.

During a glittering career which saw the back rower win two Six Nations titles, Navidi was a self-confessed petrol head and set up his very own dealership in Barry, along with close friend Jack Wilkins.

The pair initially set up Cute Club, based on the Ty Verlon Industrial Estate, on 2020 but following retirement Navidi is now able to devote his full attention to the venture.

The firm’s forecourt is open 9am-5pm on weekdays with weekend slots also available via appointment.

On its website, Cute Club describes itself as a ‘dealership ran by a team of car and motorbike enthusiasts’.

It promises to find buyers ‘the car of your dreams, for the right price’ and offers in-house servicing, MOT testing and tyres.

Speaking about the business, Navidi told WalesOnline: ‘It started off with me just buying my own cars, driving them, and then selling them the next year because I’ve always been a petrol head,” he told WalesOnline.

‘I’ve always had sporty cars but now I go for stuff with less fuel, and I’ve always changed my cars every year.

‘I started going to auctions for my own stuff and then boys were asking me what’s the best VIP deal with all these lease deals that we get offered.

‘I was advising some of the Cardiff boys for years on how to get the best deals for cars, and some boys were asking for cars you couldn’t get on the VIP scheme.

‘They wanted all sorts like performance cars and one thing led to another.’

Kevin Drinkell, football

An English footballer who became much-loved in Scotland, Kevin Drinkell is no stranger to a challenge.

His playing career saw him enjoy successful stints at both Grimsby Town and Norwich City before he secured a dream move to Glasgow Rangers in 1988.

Despite only spending a single season with the Scottish giants, the hard-working centre forward endeared himself to the Ibrox faithful by contributing to a league and cup double under the management of Graeme Souness.

After leaving the Gers, he settled north of the border, playing for both Falkirk and Stirling Albion, and he remains in Scotland to this day – albeit in a very different job now.

At the age of 63, Drinkell now works as a salesman for Car Dealer Top 100 winner Arnold Clark. After a spell in football management, he joined the outfit’s Mercedes dealership in Glasgow in 2013.

Specialising in high end motors, the career change has given Drinkell a new lease of life and he recently told the Scottish Sun that he enjoys his role as a sales executive.

He said: ‘I’ve been working for Mercedes for years now and I do enjoy it.

‘The best advice I received was from one of the old salesmen. He told me never to try and sell anybody a car.

‘If someone turns up at the garage then they are already interested in buying a new car.

Your job is just to guide them in the right direction. That has served me well.’

Scott Taylor, rugby league

While the money available in football may be beyond the wildest imaginations of most, in rugby league things are very different.

Former Hull FC and Wigan Warriors star Scott Taylor won four caps for England during a stellar career, but had one eye on the future long before he actually retired.

The 32-year-old finally walked away from the game last year but not before setting himself up in the used car market.

The prop set up T&S Elite Cars back in 2017, when he was still an England international, and has spent the years since growing the outfit.

He initially founded the business with his father, an experienced car dealer, who has since walked away from the venture.

The company moved to a state-of-the-art 30 car showroom in 2020 and is proving to be a major success in Taylor’s post rugby career.

He is also finding a steady customer base from his old career, with former Hull FC teammate Danny Houghton among his clients.

Speaking about the company with the Hull Daily Mail in 2019, Taylor said: ‘I always said I wouldn’t get into cars.

‘My dad always pushed me away because he was in the industry but somehow I have still been drawn into it.

‘I see a lot of lads retire, not invest money-wise. It’s all about setting yourself up.

‘I want to be able to retire with my finger in a few pies.’

Malcolm Christie, football

As a young footballer, Malcolm Christie appeared to have the world at his feet.

He was appearing regularly in the Premier League, he was capped by England at under-21 level and he soon bagged himself a big money move to an an ambitious Middlesbrough side.

However, by the time he turned 29, the game had caught up with him and, unable to find a new club, he was forced to retire aged just 29.

Unsure of what to do next, the ex-striker took on a job as a car salesman at Stratstone Aston Martin in Houghton le Spring, Tyne and Wear.

He soon found he excelled in the high end motor trade, and later worked at a Jaguar dealership before ultimately deciding the industry was not for him.

Explaining how he ended up selling cars, Christie told Teesside Live in 2021: ‘I don’t know why or how, but I knew I had to do something. I wasn’t going to sit on my backside for the rest of my life,” he says.

“I’m quite ambitious and determined to succeed. I ended up in the motor industry for whatever reason and it took me probably eight-10 years to realise I’d gone down a path I’ve accepted but really that’s not what I want for the rest of my life. I couldn’t see myself doing that forever.

“I got to a situation where I wasn’t enjoying it and I wasn’t revved up every morning and I thought I needed to do something different.

“During those last few years I rediscovered football. My son was playing, and going along to watch him train, I wanted to take the session. I wanted to join in.

“I got that little bit of a buzz and the bug back.

Christie is now working back in football, having set up his own coaching academy for young players.

Jeff Whitley, football

For Jeff Whitley, the trappings of fame, money and success proved to be tough to turn down.

After an impressive footballing career which saw him play for Manchester City, Sunderland and Northern Ireland, he found himself in a dark place when the time came to hang up his boots.

The 45-year-old has spoken openly about his difficulties with alcohol and drugs and previously spent time at the Sporting Chance clinic, set up by ex-Arsenal captain, Tony Adams.

It was around that time that the former footballing prodigy began working as a used car salesman in the Stockport area, as he rebuilt his life again.

Once a star midfielder for Cardiff City, began working at a used car supermarket in 2009, just 12 months after checking out of rehab.

He worked his way through the ranks and ended up running a dealership – all while training to become a councillor in his spare time.

After achieving his qualification, Whitley turned his back on used car sales and now works with the Professional Footballers Association.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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