I'm a Newcastle United cult hero who starred at the World Cup… but then I became a greengrocer | The Sun

A NEWCASTLE United cult hero who starred at the World Cup went on from scoring an iconic goal against Manchester United to become a greengrocer.

Philippe Albert, 55, was a goal-scoring centre-back for Kevin Keegan's Newcastle side before finishing his Prem career with Keegan at Fulham.

His October 1996 long-range dink past Peter Schmeichel in a 5-0 home victory over United remains many Toon fans' most cherished memory of the Entertainers era.

He joined Newcastle on the back of an outstanding performance for Belgium at the 1994 World Cup, where he scored crucial goals against Germany and the Netherlands.

But after hanging up his boots in 2000, Philippe gave it all up for a completely new career as a greengrocer back home in Belgium.

He told the Guardian: "I would prepare the produce for customers.

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"I did for 11 years and I didn't touch the money I earned as a footballer.

"Up early, finishing late, that's what I wanted: a normal life. I'm very proud of it.

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"Otherwise when you stop football, you do nothing. You have no life."

Philippe worked as a greengrocer until 2012, when he became a full-time pundit for Belgian TV.

He told FourFourTwo: "For 11 years, before moving into television, I wanted to experience the real world.

"I enjoyed life, going about my business each day just like everybody else.

"And I love eating spinach, to stay strong, and apples."

It comes after former striker for Newcastle's most hated rivals told how he gave up football to run a B&B in York.

Sunderland legend Marco Gabbiadini, 55, embarked on the unlikely second chapter after giving up football at the age of 35.

Former England midfielder Lee Bowyer also revealed that he now spends his days fishing carp on a secluded lake.

And Iain Dowie, 58, who played 400 games for clubs including Crystal Palace, West Ham, and Southampton, gave up football to become a mortgage advisor at a Lancashire law firm.

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