Rob Hulse's New Career
Rob Hulse's New Career
Former West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers striker Rob Hulse admits that his new work colleagues are fascinated when discussion turns towards why an already successful footballer has joined them working in the National Health Service (NHS).
Now 37, Hulse’s career spanned 15 years, taking in eight clubs before his retirement in 2013. And while replacing the elation of scoring a goal, the dressing room camaraderie or day-to-day routine is something that some players can find challenging, Hulse already had his plan mapped out for the future – allowing him greater peace of mind.
During the summer, he graduated from the University of Salford. Four years of juggling parental responsibilities and travelling North were rewarded with a First Class Honours degree in Physiotherapy and the highest mark of all the students on the course. “I was always planning really for what was going to happen because you can’t play forever,” Hulse said. “If you are interested in something and love something it’s going to be easier for you to do. Yes the travelling, the assignments, the work you have to put in was hard but I enjoyed it. Moving from football into a new career is exciting. It’s very practical, you do 1000 hours of practice in various settings. I went to Leicestershire County Cricket Club on my elective which was amazing. I’ve been on respiratory wards, on stroke units, MSK outpatients and you get a broad brush so you come away with a vast knowledge that while you've graduated and got a good mark, you've got lots to learn and this is just the start.”
Hulse, lives with his wife and two daughters in the Midlands and stressed that he did not want to be defined solely by his playing career. Instead he is finding as much contentment in his new occupation - as a rotational physiotherapist at Russell Hall’s Hospital, Dudley - as his old one. “I didn’t go into it thinking I’ve got to get back into football. I went in thinking that has finished now, that career has gone,” he continued. "I don’t want to be defined by what I did from 16 to 33 years of age. I wanted to make a new career for myself because footballers seem to struggle particularly coming towards the end of their careers, finding something they love and want to go into. Then you go into the NHS wards and at first it is a bit of a shock, I’ll be completely honest, but it’s good and you feel that you are really helping people."