"He said he couldn't get his clothes cleaned...it turned out he was putting it in the dishwasher"

Newstalk's Team 33 speak to 'Retired: What Happens to Footballers When the Game's Up' author Alan Gernon

On Newstalk's Team 33, we've had the privilege of chatting to many a footballer who has wrapped up their playing careers and have moved into different chapters.

But the reality for many others is incredibly grim with financial issues, high divorce rates, depression and the residual pain from physical punishment affecting them for years after they have hung up their boots.

That is the crux of a book by Alan Gernon called Retired: What Happens to Footballers When the Game's Up. The avid Dundalk fan has spoken to a host of former professional players who have left the game to identify what the causes of post-retirement issues are.

Readjusting to normal life can be deceptively tough especially as players at the highest level are used to having so many everyday things done for them. 

One anecdote that Gernon shared with us on this week's show is a prime example.

"There is that sort of regiment lifestyle where Matt Holland said to me that everything down to your club holding onto your passport for you and giving it to you at the airport, everything is done for you so [players] just don't have any life skill," said Gernon.

"And I think I heard Niall Quinn recently mention about a player they signed at Sunderland - a young guy when he was chairman there. They put him in an apartment in the city and he rang the club - each club has a player welfare officer - and he said he couldn't get his clothes cleaned and it turned out he was putting it in the dishwasher. That's the sort of life skills that they have. Literally everything is done for them. So obviously if everything is done for you for 20 years and you retire, that's another side of things to get to grips with." 

Listen to the full interview with Alan on the podcast player below or on iTunes