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Where Are They Now? Luke Foster

Luke Foster

Following a scholarship at Sheffield Wednesday, Luke Foster spent the next 15 years playing professional football with spells at Lincoln City, Stevenage and Preston North End.

Luke also had a three-year stint at Oxford United before leaving the professional game when he was 29. Still playing semi-professional football, Luke now runs his own transport and logistics business, which has been going from strength to strength. We caught up with him to find out more.

Hi Luke, how did you get into the transport and logistics business?

I realise it may seem a random career choice post-football, but I started doing courier work for a few companies last year and I really enjoyed the flexibility which came with that, and after spending my whole career playing sports I didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk. It’s like a family business now and it has grown so much in the last 9-12 months that we’re working all over the country and into Europe as well.

Was it challenging starting your own company?

When I left professional football, I wasn’t sure of my next move and kept thinking ‘what am I going to do now?’. I tried several things and couldn’t settle or didn’t like them, so I thought I’d try running my own business. It’s not a traditional career choice after football like coaching or starting an academy, but I think it’s important that other players can see there is other stuff out there that they can do. By next year, we hope to be in a position where other players will be able to reach out to me if they want to go into this industry, and I’d be happy to see if I could help them.

Does your football background help with your business?

I think so. There are certain traits you need when playing football like punctuality, being disciplined with routine, being personable and always behaving in a professional manner that I think you can definitely bring into business. Also as an ex professional footballer I am very competitive in nature, so I bring that edge into my work and always try my best to succeed.  I’ve found that people I meet in business are always interested when they find out that I’m an ex-player, and it helps to make a valuable business connection and get my foot in the door.

Have the PFA supported you in any way?

I didn’t contact the PFA for support with my business specifically, but I have for a couple of other things, which they’ve been great with. In the last few weeks a chronic back problem related to football flared up and I was in bedridden for a week. I’ve suffered with it for years, but it was easy to manage when you have physiotherapists, doctors and specialists around you all the time, receiving the best care. When you retire, you don’t have that anymore and it can be hard to know what to do. I reached out to the PFA because it started to affect my livelihood, and they took care of arranging appointments and covered the cost for a scan.

In 2017, the PFA also supported me through a really challenging time in in my life and I am so grateful, because without their help I wouldn’t be in as strong a position as I’m in right now. It meant a lot that they stood by me, and they’re always really helpful and never seem to be able to do enough.

What advice would you give to players who might share your experiences?

You’re a member for a reason, and I know the PFA will always try to help you. Whether it’s a legal, medical or mental health issue, or if you just need some advice, you’ve got nothing to lose by getting in touch. Also if there are any players out there who think they don’t have any skills off the pitch, believe me, you have. I’ve taken many things I’ve learned in football into my business, and players will develop a range of desirable skills throughout their career. There are a wide range of alternative career opportunities you can go into and  people who will appreciate your unique talents and love what you bring to the table.

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