As players get older their legs tire, which means keeping up with the to day to day life in the upper echelons of football can get harder and harder. This means many players find themselves sliding down the leagues in order to re-find their feet. So here are 5 players that went from Premier League heights to non-league depths.
1. Roger Johnson
The massive central defender played a whopping 107 games in the Premier League for Birmingham, Wolves and West Ham, in which he scored 2 goals and set up 5. However, his solid defensive performances couldn’t prevent him slipping down the leagues as his hair began to turn grey. He had stints at Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship as well as for Charlton in the second and third tier. He also had a short spell with Pune City in India. He since signed for National League side Bromley in 2017 in which he has racked up a mediocre 18 appearances in the league and signs of his aging legs are becoming increasingly evident.
2. Paul Konchesky
The veteran full-back made a whopping 347 appearances in the Premier League for Charlton, Spurs, West Ham, Fulham, Liverpool and Leicester as well as playing in the Europa League for both The Reds and The Cottagers. He enjoyed a short spell at Gillingham where he made 25 appearances in League 1 during the 2016/17 season. Now 37, Paul has just signed for East Thurrock in the National League South having signed from Billericay town who have just been promoted into the same league with Paul making 23 appearances in their promotion campaign.
3. Grant Holt
His rise from non-league to Premier League was nothing short of remarkable, he scored a respectable 24 goals in the top flight as well as filling his boots season after season in the second, third and fourth tiers. He’s also appeared and scored in the Europa League qualifying stage for Hibernian. In previous years, he had some poor spells at Wigan, Aston Villa and Rochdale in which he failed to re-discover his goal scoring form. He then signed for Kings Lynn at the end of the 2016/17 season where he scored once in three appearances. He spent the previous season at the club he made his name, Barrow in the National League, where in his 23 appearances he has re-installed himself as a clear fan favourite.
4. Lloyd Doyley
Maybe not best remembered for his time in the top flight as he only made 21 appearances. But the Watford cult hero is a is another huge name playing below the fourth tier. His professionalism and defensive heroics mean despite his aging legs he would be a huge coup for any non-league side, let alone Hemel Hempstead Town. He made 13 appearances for The Tudors in the 2017/18 seasons, helping them to a 5th place finish in the National League South. In the coming season, I hope the vast experience he gained in his 400+ games in the top two tiers can propel Hemel to promotion.
5. Jobi McAnuff
The emphatic winger is best known for his pace and trickery down both flanks and was an ever-present in Reading’s 2012/13 Premier League cameo. Despite this, he predominately spent his career in and around the Championship. He now applies his trade in the National League with Leyton Orient where he proved he is still an extremely handy asset, as he scored 6 goals and claimed 8 assists in the 2017/18 season, in which The O’s massively struggled for consistency.