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English Premier League

The Ex-Man Utd Player Now Working As A Plumber

Playing for Manchester United is a dream for many young footballers. However, it does not always end in trophies and fame as this former Old Trafford starlet's story proves, with the ex-player now working as a plumber.

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Lee Roden, a versatile right-back who represented England at U21 level, featured for the Red Devils in a UEFA Champions League clash with Deportivo La Coruna in 2003.

The then-22-year-old, though, was substituted at half-time, and United lost the game 2-0.

"I remember lining up for the Champions League music, but I was in my own little bubble," Roden told Planet Football.

"I was marking Albert Luque and I think I did well, but I was subbed at half-time. Sir Alex Ferguson never told me why and I wasn't going to argue with him."

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Overall, Roden made just three appearances for the Red Devils' senior team before leaving on a free transfer to join Burnley.

He went on to play for Wrexham, Liffeys Pears and Droylsden before deciding on early retirement at the age of 27.

"I was coming home and I just didn't want to watch football on TV," he explained.

"Young players need to know about the real world, because most don't have a plan for if they fail to be a professional."

After hanging up his boots, the Professional Footballers' Association helped him to find his feet off the pitch.

Today, Roche works as a full-time plumber, owns a cavity wall removal business, and also trains Bury's U11 team.

"I have had a few fellow workers on the building sites asking me about United and how have I ended up here," the father of two added.

"It can get pretty tiresome so I don't go shouting about that I played for United. I do think young players today should be made to train as something, so they know about the real world.

"Most of them probably don't have a plan to fall back on if they don't make it as a professional."

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