Robbie Simpson is a man well-known across the English Football League. He’s made over 300 professional appearances, played for the likes of Coventry City, Brentford and Huddersfield – but reaffirms his education is what made him the person he is today.
Despite always dreaming of making it as a footballer, Simpson was determined from a young age to have a backup plan in case his dream didn't become reality.
At 18-years-old, Simpson would move to Leicestershire to study Sports Science and Mathematics at the Loughborough University where he combined his studies with football.
Speaking to The RedDot Programme prior to Saturday's clash with Tranmere Rovers, Simpson recalls his path into football.
"I was at Norwich City as a kid but I didn't get offered a scholarship. To be honest with you, I don't think I would have taken it if I got offered one. I've always been one to value education and I saw my older brother and sister go to university and have the time of their life – that was something that I wanted to do, I wanted to be a footballer but I also wanted to go to University.
"My Mum always used to say that I was never going to make it as a footballer so I was determined to prove her wrong, but at the same time, I listened to her and made sure I had something to fall back on in case it didn't work out. I studied Sports Science and Maths.
"I loved sports growing up and I'm naturally good with numbers, so it was ideal. I wouldn't change my path into the game for the world and I would definitely recommend it to any young footballer."
Simpson now combines his life as a professional footballer with his body LAPS (Life After Professional Sport), a company that helps retired sportsmen and women find new jobs after their career has come to an end.
:I started LAPS (Life After Professional Sport) about 18 months ago and it helps sportsmen and woman prepare and transition into new careers once their sporting career is over. The only guarantee in sport is that your career will come to an end one day. There are 1% of athletes who will be okay financially after their careers are over and won't have to work again but others will need a career.
"I feel like it's an area that isn't covered in as much detail as it should be so that's why I started LAPS and hopefully, we can offer the support that is needed in sport.
"I am always busy, but I like it that way. We get a lot of spare time as footballers and I've never been one to play on the computer or whatever. I'm always resting my body but I like to keep myself ticking over mentally and LAPS allows me to do that."
His route into football albeit it unconventional can be motivation for any budding young footballer looking to combine their studies with the game they love