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Which football team did David Icke play for? Infamous conspiracy theorist's former career

13:30 BST 12/05/2020
David Icke
Goal takes a look at the surprising sporting roots of one of the world's most controversial conspiracy theorists

David Icke is best known as a conspiracy theorist, but some may be unaware that the controversial speaker and author also had a career in football before turning his attentions... elsewhere.

Even when his playing days came to an end, Icke remained close to the game, working as a sports journalist reporting on football matches for various media in Leicester before becoming a broadcaster with the BBC.

Eventually, however, as he pursued avenues in politics, spirituality and the realm of conspiracies, the beautiful game began to play less of a part in his life - though he still enjoys watching games.

A hugely divisive figure, Icke was kicked off YouTube and Facebook in 2020 for violating the websites' policies on misinformation over the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Considering the opprobrium and ridicule he now endures for many of his pronouncements, a career in football or, indeed football journalism, might have granted him a quieter life.

So, which teams did Icke play for and how long did his playing career last? Goal brings you everything you need to know...

Which football team did David Icke play for?

Icke played as a goalkeeper for Coventry City, Oxford United, Northampton Town and later Hereford United in the late 1960s into the early 1970s.

A native of Leicester, he was identified as a talent by a Coventry City scout at the age of 15 and the club, which was then competing in the First Division (now Premier League), signed him for their youth team.

Icke played in the 1970 FA Youth Cup final against a Tottenham team featuring players such as Graeme Souness, Steve Perryman and Ray Clarke, but ultimately came out on the losing side after a second replay.

Like many young players at clubs in the top division, Icke spent time out on loan, playing for Oxford United and Northampton Town, but he did not manage to break into the Sky Blues' first team.

In 1971, he signed for Hereford United, who were then managed by the legendary John Charles, and spent a couple of seasons in the West Midlands.

When did David Icke retire from football?

Chronic injury issues forced Icke to retire from football in 1973 at the age of 21, meaning his career was very much shortlived. 

The specific ailment which scuppered the goalkeeper's football ambitions was rheumatoid arthritis, which spread throughout his body, causing severe pain in his knee, ankle and elbow joints.

Icke traces the difficulties back to a haematoma he sustained while playing for Coventry and says that it became too much to bear despite only playing part-time for Hereford.

"I didn't tell the club because I wouldn't have been playing any more, but every day the training session warm-up was agony," he said in a 2016 interview with The Blizzard.

"Because, although it seemed that I didn't show signs of the arthritis, I felt it. It was agony. Especially on freezing cold mornings."

Icke played on through the pain as much as he could, but called time on his playing days when it became unbearable.

However, he credits that difficulty as being a defining moment in his life, claiming that his time playing for Hereford "triggered a determination in me which has absolutely been vital in the years since 1990-91 and all the mass ridicule".

Which football team does David Icke support?

Icke is a supporter of his hometown club, Leicester City and regularly watches football matches on TV, though admits that he does not go to live games often any more.

When the Foxes won the Premier League in 2015-16, he celebrated their triumph, sharing the message that "miracles are not only possible - they HAPPEN".

"They have never been the country's top team and no one thought they ever would be - especially with 'little Leicester' pitched against the billionaire clubs of the modern game," Icke wrote.

"The message: believe and work together and... anything is possible."

Leicester are owned by multi-billionaire Srivaddhanaprabha family, one of the richest groups to run a Premier League club.