THE below Where 'R' They Now? feature appeared first in the Hoops matchday programme against Wigan Athletic (07/04/13).
What are you up to nowadays?
I am living in Canmore, Alberta in Canada with my wife Amanda and children Jake and Ava. I left the UK four-and-a-half years ago to do my seminary studies for pastoral ministry. I am now home missionary pastor at Calvary Grace Church in Calgary. We are currently in the final 18 months of our visas and deciding where we will be long-term.
How did you make such a major change in your life?
I have been a Christian since my early days at QPR in the late 1980s. I have always spoken about my faith in Jesus Christ but never sensed a call to full-time ministry until six years ago. This call was affirmed by the church and I began to preach. It was then that I felt compelled to pursue vocational ministry. I had been working for the BBC on Match of the Day and Football Focus as well as being sent to World Cups etc. It was all going very well. So when I gave everything up, it did surprise a number of people. It’s been the hardest few years of my life but coming away from the UK has given me some anonymity. Here in Canada they consider me a preacher, not a footballer or pundit!
You had two spells at QPR and must have a great affinity with the club?
People always ask me who I support. Charlton Athletic were my team as a boy because my father played for them. Then I enjoyed my best goalscoring days in a special time at Newcastle United and had my most high-profile moments with Chelsea. But QPR is my football home and always will be. I first joined Rangers when I was 15, so I have deep affection for the club and the fans.
Do you still keep an eye on QPR?
Yes I do. I follow the Premier League on Setanta over here in Canada. We get good coverage of matches. I’m always watching out for the Super Hoops.
Do you think the R’s will stay up this season?
It’s going to be very hard but it’s still possible. The new signings were expensive although Harry Redknapp needed to get some quality in and create some momentum. Harry’s a great manager. I played for him as a 21-year-old at Bournemouth.
Where 'R' They Now? appears in Hoops matchday programme on sale around Loftus Road for just £3. The edition against Stoke City carries a Where 'R' They Now? piece with former R's player and manager Gerry Francis.