MANY footballers will move into expert work or coaching after retiring from football.

But many footballers are not former Bolton and Blackburn forward Nathan Blake.

Nathan Blake has had a career with a number of Premier League clubs


Nathan Blake has had a career with a number of Premier League clubsCredit: PA:Empics Sport
He switched to acting after retiring from football


He switched to acting after retiring from footballCredit: Alamy

Blake made his career as a Premier League forward in the 1990s and early 2000s.

He started his career at Cardiff before moving to Sheffield United to boost his Prem career.

Five goals in 12 games in his breakthrough season marked a decent return, but he couldn’t stop the Blades from avoiding relegation.

A move to Bolton beckoned in 1996, but he was not able to assert himself immediately and soon ended up back in the old First Division, today’s championship.

It was there that he found his shooting shoes again and scored 19 league goals to fire Bolton back into the Prem in 1996/97.

However, he suffered a second relegation with Bolton despite scoring 12 goals in his best torrent in a Premier League season.

A mid-season move in the 1998–99 season saw him join Blackburn mid-season, although he would again suffer the shame of relegation after scoring just three goals.

Blake spent a further two years at Blackburn before being shipped off to Wolves in 2002.


Blake in action for Wales


Blake in action for WalesCredit: PA:Press Association
Blake in training for Wales while then-manager Mark Hughes looks on


Blake in training for Wales while then-manager Mark Hughes looks onCredit: PA:Press Association

The Welshman helped propel them into the Premier League in the 2002/03 season when he scored 12 goals.

But history repeated itself as Blake netted just once and found himself relegated from the Prem for the fifth time, making him the record-holder for most relegations from the division.

Blake would eventually retire in 2006 after stints in Leeds, Leicester and Newport County after scoring 82 goals in Premier League and Second Division English football.

Outside of football, Blake continued to speak out against vile racial slurs he received following his retirement from the Wales squad.

Oddly enough, Blake turned to acting after football.

And in 2014, Cymru won the Best Supporting Actor award at the Film Festival for his role in the film Homing Bird, in which he plays a soccer coach.

He told Wales Online at the time: “I like to do things outside of my comfort zone, unless it’s skydiving or swimming with sharks.

“I only have a few lines, but I had to change my Welsh accent to my dad’s Jamaican accent, but that was fine.

“I’ll do as much as I’m offered. If someone said tomorrow, ‘We’ve got you in EastEnders’, great.”

Blake has since turned to journalism.

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He has worked for BBC Wales, BBC 5 Live and Sky Sports as a match analyst and commentator and has covered Cardiff City for Wales Online.

Blake also briefly held a non-executive director role at Newport County before the Fan Trust took control of the club.

Blake has also devoted himself to commentary work


Blake has also devoted himself to commentary workPhoto credit: Getty

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