Bury FC striker Tom Youngs has gone back to school – to learn a new trade in journalism.
He has enrolled on a Professional Footballers Association-funded course to give players the skills they need to forge a new career after they retire from the game.
In addition to his day job at Gigg Lane, he is completing the degree at Staffordshire University, and had already been on work experience at the Bury Times.
It’s not the first time he’s signed up as an academic rather than an athlete.
He was ready to start a law degree before signing his first professional football contract ten years ago, so knows what university holds in store.
Tom said: “I’ve always been fairly academically minded so I have been itching for this kind of thing to come along.
“It’s the first year of the course, so we are guinea pigs in a way. But journalism is something I have always wanted to try.
“I’ve had a little bit of gip from the lads, when the manager brought the paper into the dressing room and I had a byline on one of the stories.
“I have been a professional footballer now for 10 or 11 years now, which is well above average.
“That could end at any time through injury, so it is nice to know I’ll have something on the back burner.”
He is learning about newspaper, radio and television journalism, and as part of that has joined local radio commentary teams when he hasn’t been in the squad to play.
Fellow students include Macclesfield Town’s David Morley, Andy White, from Kidderminster Harriers, and ex-Chelsea full-back Scott Minto.