Athletes who also had music careers

By Mitch Rice

With the demands of playing competitive professional sport rather taxing on the body, there are a number of ex-professionals who look to get involved with music once their playing days are over.

Naturally, with so much time on their hands, there will have been a desire to be able to learn something new or for them to try and enter a new industry where they can look to be as successful as a music artist as much as they have been when being a professional athlete or sportsperson.

Here are just some who looked to try and forge a music career for themselves, albeit with varying degrees of success.

Andy Cole

Perhaps one of the deadliest strikers that the Premier League has ever witnessed, especially during the 1990s and early 00s, Andy Cole tried to give music a go after hanging his boots up after an illustrious career with Newcastle United and Manchester United, among many other clubs he would go on to represent.

Indeed, whilst many may have looked to try and find ways to bet on football, Cole decided he would release a rap track after winning the famous 1999 treble. His song “Outstanding” certainly became famous, but not in the desired way.

John Barnes

Another footballer who decided to dabble in the music scene was John Barnes, as he rapped on various tracks. The most famous of them was New Order’s “World in Motion” track that had proven to be a huge hit as it reached number one in the charts and remained in the charts for a number of weeks, with his rap arguably the most remembered part of the song that resonates with fans born after the 1990 release.

Glenn Hoddle & Chris Waddle

Former England duo, Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle both briefly turned to music during their playing days at Tottenham Hotspur, as they released the track “Diamond Lights” in 1987. It proved to be a hit as the pair were able to produce a second track entitled “It’s Goodbye”, which ultimately killed off their music careers.

As recently as 2020’s edition of The Masked Singer, Hoddle dusted his microphone off and performed dressed as the Grandfather Clock, so perhaps he will be singing once again soon?

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Is there anything that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson can not do? Former professional wrestler-turned-Hollywood A-lister and all-around entertainer, ‘The Rock’ also once turned to the music industry as he sang one of the main songs in the Disney animated film, Moana.

Manny Pacquiao

Another man that can seemingly do anything he wishes and be ultra-talented at doing it, Manny Pacquiao is just another individual that has had spells in the music industry despite being a world-class sportsperson.

The legendary boxer, who many regard as one of the greatest of the modern era, is a senator of the Philippines, but he has also been able to record three studio albums, as well. The songs all have references to his life, whether it be fighting for a boxing championship, or his passion to his home country, thus making him a loved athlete.