Military Life

How Ex-Leicester Boss Nigel Pearson Kicked Around An RAF Career Before Turning Football Pro

Sheffield Wednesday legend and former Premier League manager Nigel Pearson talks about his affinity with the military

Listen to Premier League football manager Nigel Pearson talk of his interest in the Armed Forces in the interview above

It’s hard to imagine Sheffield Wednesday legend and former Premier League manager Nigel Pearson plying his trade at anything other than football.

He has seen a string of promotions and trophies, including famously lifting the League Cup trophy with Sheffield Wednesday as a player, and has been the architect of a Leicester City revival which has seen them climb the football league ladder over the last decade.

However, his life may have taken another path after a childhood ambition to join the RAF.

The former Sheffield Wednesday player told BFBS presenter Danny Parkinson how he considered a career in the RAF when he was younger – before finding his feet in football. He said friends had joined other Services in the Armed Forces and it sparked his own interest.

“I have always been interested in the forces. A friend of mine joined the Navy and it was something that has always interested me.”

Nigel playing for Sheffield Wednesday
Nigel Pearson playing for Sheffield Wednesday

His strong interest in the Armed Forces was not only a career ambition but had an influence across his time in football.

Talks by veterans and sessions in boxing drills have been brought in for his players during his managerial career. Nigel says it has an advantage.   

“Sometimes in grounding players as well in terms of giving them an idea of a what it might be to have a different profession.”

Nigel admits if it was not for the opportunity to play professional football, a life with the forces was a likely path. 

Nigel Pearson playing football

The former Sheffield Wednesday player was also hopeful about the club’s future under new manager Steve Bruce.

While Playoffs may have made the Championship playoffs a bridge too far this season the former Owl is hopefully about the future at Hillsborough.

“Steve has got a very well proven track record of getting teams out of the Championship.”

As the other side of Sheffield has seen the lions share of this season success, Nigel is hoping both of the Sheffield clubs playing the Steel City derby on the world stage in the Premier League in the coming years.