Bradley Wiggins: Inspiring Mods to ditch scooters for a different set of wheels, Tour de France winner Bradley is a huge indie fan. Though a Weller haircut wouldn’t fit under his cycling helmet, Wiggo does his best to keep Carnaby on the crossbar by growing the manliest mutton chops this side of the sixties.
Joey Barton: Polarising midfielder Barton may be controversial on the pitch, but not when it comes to music, the QPR player is a Smiths obsessive. Recently, he made a vow to get the group to reunite, telling The Sun: “If I could get The Smiths back together, that would top anything I could achieve on the football pitch.”
Ricky Hatton: Retired Welterweight Hatton is practically a member of Oasis. The Gallagher brothers carried his belts to the ring ahead of his 2008 Las Vegas fight against Paulie Malignaggi. When Hatton won, Noel even gave him a kiss.
Wayne Rooney: Rooney’s questionable taste doesn’t only apply to hair transplants. The Manchester United player is also old-school obsessed with the Stereophonics. So much so that not only did the group perform at his 2008 wedding, Rooney also got the title of the band’s album tattooed on his arm – ‘Just Enough Education to Perform’.
Rio Ferdinand: Ferdie teamed up with publishing company Made Up Media to release a digital magazine in 2009, titled #5. Cover stars included Damon Albarn, Goldie and Example. Prior to that, Rio created a record label with an old friend in 2005, called White Chalk Music. Current signings include Melody Johnston, and Nia Jai.
Paul McGregor: The former Northampton Town player came into his own after retiring from football in 2003. In 2006, he formed a post-punk band called Ulterior with his brother and two other members. Don’t knock ’em without hearing them – they supported The Horrors in 2008, and toured with Sisters Of Mercy.
Adrian Chiles: The ITV Sport presenter is an avid Joy Formidable fan, and has been spotted at several of their gigs. He’s also into the Decemberists. O Valencia!
Christian Dailly: The 12-time Scotland captain played in a group called South Playground. South Playground were due to support Ian Brown, but the game clashed with a Wolverhampton match (who Dailly was playing for at the time). Though their Facebook and Myspace have died down since, you can still check out some tracks at myspace.com/southplayground.
Damon Hill: The retired Formula One driver can definitely swing an axe. From his teenage group ‘Sex Hitler And The Hormones’ to guesting on Def Leppard’s ‘Demolition Man’ to playing with, y’know, George Harrison. And he also had his own covers group – The Conrods. Although that last bit’s definitely less cool.
Gareth Ainsworth: Now captain of Wycombe Wanderers, NME once took the former caretaker-manager of QPR to a Pete Doherty gig – and then took Ainsworth backstage to meet him.
Gary Neville: Sky Sports pundit Neville is a huge Stone Roses supporter. Neville tweeted after the Heaton Park shows “Privileged, honoured, Stone Roses! The best I’ve ever seen!’. Mani and Co. had played at Neville’s testimonial against Man United the previous year.
Leighton Baines: Everton player Baines is a mate of Miles Kane’s. In previous interviews, Kane’s explained that Baines is “massively into his tunes. It’s a rare thing for a footballer to be into good music. He got me into Black Angels recently.” How do Kane and Baines spend their time together? Kane continued “he comes round mine and plays Fifa.”
Mehmet Scholl: Former Bayern Munich midfielder Scholl has successfully released two mixtapes – one in May 2002, and the other in October 2003. Each features tracks from his favourite bands, and include The Flaming Lips, The Beta Band and Jimmy Eat World. Not only that, but Scholl managed to convice the Hidden Cameras to play live at his farewell match.
Pat Nevin: Retired Scottish footballer Nevin is so indie it hurts. Friends with Belle and Sebastian, and a pal of the late John Peel, NME dubbed him the first ‘post-punk footballer’. True fact, Nevin was once subbed off at half-time during a friendly so he could go see a Cocteau Twins gig.
Slaven Bilic: Bilic is a member of rock group Rawbau. The former Croatia defender recorded a track for Euro 2008 called ‘Vatreno Ludiol’ (‘Fiery Madness’). We wouldn’t whack it on at your next house party.
Steve Davis: Snooker player Davis sidelines as a prog DJ. Last year, Davis filled in for Jarvis Cocker on 6 Music. Davis told an interviewer at the time that ‘I’ll be playing music you never knew existed. Stuff from all over the world, music that can be quite complex. A melting pot of jazz, classical and rock, usually with a beat’. Best not to mention his comedy single ‘Snooker Loopy’ then.
Ugo Ehiogu: Since retiring from Sheffield United in 2009, Ehiogu has embarked on a career in music publishing. He founded his own label ‘Dirty Hit Ltd’, and ‘looks after’ bands including Little Comets and Benjamin Francis Leftwich. Seeing as Little Comets’ debut single went to #3 in the iTunes Indie Chart, we’d say his move from footie was no own goal.
Olympic and World Champion cyclist Victoria Pendleton has the lyrics from the Smashing Pumpkins’ 1993 single ‘Today’ tattooed on the inside of her wrists. The quote she chose is “Today is the greatest day I’ve ever known.”