He has faced off against footballing greats including David Beckham and Paul Gascogine - and his new career in Hull shares just a few similarities.
A child of the city, Adam Bolder played almost 300 Football League games for teams including Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday and has more than a few memorable stories to share.
Now, however, he has found a new life nurturing the next generation at a college in east Hull.
Bolder, or Mr Bolder as he is now known, took on a new role at Wilberforce College in Saltshouse Road this summer, taking a lead on enrichment programmes to offer relief for students who spend much of their time studying hard.
The Hull City centre of excellence product made his debut for his hometown club in 1998 but moved on less than two years later, setting him on a career to face off with some of the game’s biggest names.
After a career spanning two decades, Mr Bolder, 38, now juggles his full time teaching at the college, his new secondary role as their enrichment manager, his own football academy, punditry for BBC local radio and still keeping his hand in playing occasionally for North Ferriby FC.
Describing how he went into the education sector after his illustrious career on the pitch, he said: “A lot of people did question ‘how did you get into teaching?’
"Obviously I went from school straight to the football academy and then straight into professional and then I didn’t do any qualifications.
“I didn’t do anything for probably eight months when I finished playing football.
“I was at Burton Albion, that was my last club and I’d just had enough of football to be honest, full time.
"My brother was working here and said 'oh why don’t you just come and do a sports technician job' – I think it was just 20 hours a week. I got in and started to mix with students and it was quite rewarding.
“Crazy as it is, at 29, I got offered an assistant manager job in the Championship but I was too young. I can’t tell you where it was but I was too young to get involved in that.
"I still wanted to be playing and I knew taking on that role of the coach or assistant manager, whatever role it was going to be, it would have taken away the football side of it and I wasn’t ready at the time to do that.”
Despite what to many would have been an offer of a lifetime, Bolder instead ended up back in East Yorkshire playing for North Ferriby United during the most successful period of the club’s history.
He was part of the side that gained promotion to the top flight of non-league football and played a key role in their history in the FA Trophy win at Wembley in 2015.
But while his involvement in football remains as big as ever, the former midfielder now spends much of his time in the classroom – even teaching maths, health and social care and public services, alongside PE.
He also has a large focus on his newest role, boosting the extra-curricular activities on offer to the hundreds of students who attend Wilberforce College with clubs ranging from robotics to debating and from green power to a new venture called serial killer club – where students meet to discuss theories behind killers on television.
“It’s to offer our students an additional enrichment to improve their employability skills, to help with their mindfulness and their wellbeing,” the new enrichment manager said.
“At the college, students come to do work all the time, and I think that they sometimes want to come and do that but we wanted to create something where they could have a release from it. So part of my role is to liaise with the staff and offer enrichments.
“Some are like fun enrichments to help with the stress. We’ve got things like distress with colouring and a cinema club.
“We’ve already got the sports teams so we already make contact with a lot of the sports students, however the college is growing and we have a vast majority that don’t necessarily do the sports so it was a case of ‘what can we offer them?’”
Apart from still dropping in to play for North Ferriby FC, as they are now known, on the odd occasion, Adam now spends his Saturdays doing punditry for BBC Radio Derby watching one of his former clubs – something that has certain similarities with his nine-to-five.
“It’s great to be honest. I suppose it’s a bit like the enrichment offer for the students. It’s a bit of a release from teaching,” he said.
“It’s something I don’t really have to think about too much. It comes quite naturally whereas teaching you need to plan and mark.
"I can turn up to the game as long as I know who is playing and where they’ve been, I can generally talk about the game without having to do much research.
“It’s a nice opportunity to still be part of the football but it is strange. When I finished playing I did get the opportunity to go to Hull City as part of the academy but at that time it wasn’t for me.
“I know it sounds crazy to anyone that I speak to, but once you’ve done something for such a long time it’s more like a job than fun and especially at professional level.
“A lot of people don’t get it when I say ‘you didn’t play for fun. You play for results’. Obviously the financial side of it is great but it’s not a case of me going out on a Saturday with my friends doing tricks and stuff like that.
"You’re playing to a game plan and sometimes you might be playing where your game is not enjoyable and you’re tasked with marking their best player.
“It’s tough sometimes in the teaching to get the best out of somebody but having those obstacles in my previous job as a footballer, everybody knows that within sport it’s not all good.
"You win, you lose and to be honest you probably lose more than you win at some clubs. You’re always having setbacks and the students are the same.”
Adam started as a college sportsmaker when his brother offered him the chance to help out at Wilberforce and went on to do his teaching qualifications having enjoyed the experience so much.
In time, he found his way into his latest position, finding out he had got the job earlier this year before starting in September.
'I made my debut against Beckham and Keane'
When he started, he says he found he was still recognised by students for his time on the football field but has found a noticeable change as the years have ticked by.
He said: “When I first joined I’d not been long out of football and there were lots of YouTube clips about me doing tackles and scoring goals.
"It was a nice ice-breaker sometimes for them to ask questions and relate to it. But the older I’m getting the longer I’ve been out of the game.
“This generation, they know about the Paul Pogbas. I’ll even say to them now, I made my debut at Man United against David Beckham and Veron and Keane and they’re going ‘who’s that?’ Seriously.
“These are like 16-year-old kids. People are saying ‘David Beckham, was he good?’ Honestly, if you think now, these students, when I played, they weren’t even born.
“I remember telling the students a story once that at Everton away one of my highlights was me and Gazza were both on the bench and came on at exactly the same time. But if you think Gazza is older than me so then they don’t know.
“They talk about Messi and I say ‘I played with a kid who was very similar in terms of ability – Georgi Kinkladze. They say ‘who’s he?’ You’ve got to be joking!”
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