Jump to content

Former Notts County captain Neal Bishop speaks of "big decision" in going professional


Joe Jones

Former Notts County captain Neal Bishop has revealed how he was happy to just play "pub football" up until his mid-twenties but is glad to have taken the risk to go professional.

The 36-year-old has enjoyed a fruitful career in the Football League, playing for the likes of County, Blackpool and Scunthorpe United, where he remains today.

Bishop is loved by the Black and White Army for his four years of service at Meadow Lane, making close to 200 appearances between 2009 and 2013.

However, it could have been so different had he not decided to take the plunge and, given he was happy working a more conventional job, it may well have beem but for his "big decision".

“I didn’t play my first professional game until I was 24, 25," Bishop told Notts TV.

"When I was younger, I probably doubted myself a bit too much. I was at Middlesbrough academy when I was a kid and it didn’t work out – I don’t know whether I’d become a bit disillusioned or what.

"I was playing pub football at 22, 23; I would play on a Saturday, non-league, few quid cash in hand, then go out Saturday night – I’m a Middlesbrough lad, a Teeside lad and that’s how we do it.

"I would then play on a Sunday morning with my mates and go to the social club in the afternoon then work Monday morning!

"I used to be a window fitter and I was happy in that life, I was with a girl and it was a big decision to eventually go pro.

"I was not a kid anymore and went to Scarborough who were professional in the Conference at the time.

"It was a bit like, what do I do because I had a good job, picking up good money playing part time so it was a bit of a risk. But when I got into it I thought, if I’m going to give it a go I might as well go all in.

"It was a very unusual way to get into the game – you usually get the ones that come out the academies, who go out on loan and are then released.

"At 20, 21, they find out they aren’t good enough for their chosen clubs and filter down through the leagues whereas coming up through them is different.

"The ones who have been at the top like Jamie Vardy and Charlie Austin are such good stories and everyone knows about them because there are so few of them.

"Personally, I got to the Championship with Blackpool and don’t have the ability to play in the Premier League so I have ultimately made the most of my ability so late on.

"I made my debut in the Championship when I was 32 which is ridiculous and I think I appreciated it more because of the way I’d come through.

"Once you come up that way, and spend most of your life doing that, you don’t come away from it."

Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.

Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.



Share your PRIDE with PON! Visit our Community Forum

Join us - Discuss - Write for us - Debate - Contact us


User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.



Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

About PON

Pride of Nottingham

Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

Support PON

Enjoy our content? Want to help us grow? Your donation will go a long way towards improving the site!

donate-pon.png

Meet the Team

Chris Chris Administrators
ARLukomski ARLukomski Administrators
super_ram super_ram Global Moderators
DangerousSausage DangerousSausage Global Moderators
Super_Danny_Allsopp Super_Danny_Allsopp Global Moderators

Social Media

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Pride of Nottingham uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. To approve, simply continue using the site or click 'I accept' Terms of Use.