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WHERE 'R' THEY NOW? JOHN BYRNE

PUBLISHED

09:00 28th February 2013

by @OfficialQPR

Former R's striker now turned Podiatrist...

THE below Where 'R' They Now? feature appeared first in the Hoops matchday programme against Manchester United (23/02/13).

What are you up to nowadays?
I am a specialist musculoskeletal podiatrist in the NHS in Sussex. I deal with people who have foot and ankle problems – soft tissue and bone. 

How did you get into that very unusual occupation?
When I finished playing football in the late 1990s, I was hoping to become a physio but couldn’t get a place at university to study it. Then the ex-Manchester United star Norman Whiteside advised me to look at the Professional Footballers’ Association’s course for podiatry, as he was a podiatrist himself. The PFA said they would help me with finance and backing. I graduated from university 12 years ago and I have been doing it ever since. 

Do you enjoy the job?
I love it – it’s great. But it’s hard work. I have a full clinic list every day, with all different conditions to diagnose. I have to decide what to do with each person, whether to refer them for X-rays or orthopaedics, give them a steroid injection or orthotics. It really is a varied career – not the same as being a footballer, and not as well paid! But my playing days are gone now, so I just have to focus on what I am doing and I really enjoy it. 

Do you ever get recognised by football fans when you are working on their feet?
Well that is difficult as I don’t have a blond mullet anymore! Although sometimes I get people who recognise my name. Then just want to talk about football instead of their current medical condition!

Do you have fond memories of your days at QPR?
Yes – we were doing pretty well at the time. Rangers often finished as top London club and we reached the Milk Cup final in 1986, although we didn’t turn up on the day at Wembley. But they were happy days overall with a good bunch of lads. It was a very special time in my career. 

Do you still keep an eye on the R’s?
Absolutely. I have a lot of friends on social media who are QPR fans, so I follow everything that the club is doing. It would be brilliant if they could stay up this season.

Where 'R' They Now? appears in Hoops matchday programme on sale around Loftus Road and is available for just £3. The edition against Sunderland carries a Where 'R' They Now? piece with ex-Rangers defender Chris Plummer.
 
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