When football players retire, they are often left in a state of emptiness. Throughout their playing careers, all they know is football, it provides structure to their lives and losing it can have a profound effect on some individuals. For Gavin Peacock, this was never an issue, for as much as he loved football he understood it was just a game and he had something more overwhelming in his life. Peacock has been a Christian from the age of 18 onwards; so whilst his teammates may have spent Sundays celebrating a win or relaxing; Peacock was at church.
Peacock had a fairly distinguished footballing career; though he was never capped by the senior England side, he played for the likes of QPR, Chelsea and Newcastle United with some success.
After retiring from the game in 2002, Peacock went on to start a career as a football pundit working for the BBC. He appeared on Football Focus, Match of the Day 2 and Final Score. A sensible pundit, he offered intelligent insights into the game and was a natural in front of the camera. Peacock then began to take a greater interest in his own faith and presented a Football Focus feature about the role of religion in football; he also presented an episode of Songs of Praise in 2008. Peacock also began to give talks and lectures about his faith in conjunction with the Alpha courses which are aimed at introducing young people to Christianity
In September 2006, Peacock began a course in Theology at Ridley Hall College. After Euro 2008 it was announced that Peacock was leaving his position at the BBC and was moving to Canada for a three-year masters course in Divinity at Ambrose Seminary. He is still completing the course and hopes to join the Church in an official capacity upon completion.
Peacock is not alone as a footballer who had strong religious convictions; Real Madrid star Kaka has made it known that he wishes to become a preacher one day. Peacock’s life after football is quite different to many players who focus on media work or management and that is what makes him an interesting case study.