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January 10, 2024

20 Vintage Photographs of Rod Stewart Playing Soccer From the 1970s and 1980s

Rod Stewart was captain of his school football team in Middlesex, and after leaving school when he was 15 he went on to pursue a career as a professional footballer. He ended up with a football apprenticeship at Brentford Football Club in his late teens before he quit to pursue his passion for music. We can be certain he chose the right path; going on to have 62 UK hit singles!

In 2019, Rod Stewart revealed playing football saved him from the rocker lifestyle of drink and drugs. He said: “Up until seven years ago I was still playing football Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. Especially Sunday mornings, I couldn’t do drugs and drink too much, because it would have ruined my game. So football sort of saved me a little bit.”

“I got arrested in Los Angeles on a Saturday night because they thought I was drink driving,” Stewart recalled. “I got taken to the police station and there was nothing in my system. Any other night they would have done me but as it was a Saturday night I was going home early, getting rested up for a game at 11am the next morning. But football has helped me so much and I miss it so much, not playing.”

The Celtic supporter told how his Scottish father, a former amateur player, had wanted him to become a professional footballer. He famously attended trials with Third Division outfit Brentford but admitted he already had a “burning desire” to be a singer. “I wasn’t good enough to be a footballer, although I tried. I had trials at Brentford but just to keep my dad happy really. Music had entered my soul and I couldn’t commit to football, and the hours, as a musician you can stay in bed all day.”

Asked if he could wave a magic wand and go back and become a world class footballer, and play for his beloved Celtic or Scotland, the music legend admitted he would not change a thing.

He said: “No, not in a million years because I’m 74. Do you know any footballers that are still playing at 74? The longevity of my career could not have gone on if I was a footballer. It’s a wonderful notion. I love the Hoops and I love Scotland, but I’m glad. I am dedicated to music. I don’t think I ever was when I had my chance to be a footballer and I went for my trial at Brentford. I was never dedicated to it.”


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