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Exclusive: Shaka Hislop recalls working at NASA before becoming a Premier League goalkeeper

Shaka Hislop
(Image credit: Getty)

Ever heard somebody say "all footballers stupid"? It's a tired old trope that FFT can't stand at the best of times. 

But thanks to a recent sit down with former Premier League stopper Shaka Hislop, we now have the greatest comeback of all time prepared for launch. 

The Trinidadian gloveman made more than 220 Premier League appearances during a twenty-year career, with spells at clubs including Reading, Newcastle, West Ham and Pompey. But the cult hero could just as easily not bothered – thanks to a massive brain that saw him working at NASA before embarking on his glittering playing career.

"I had been attending university in the US on a football scholarship, and had been doing a summer internship at NASA the year before I graduated," said Hislop, speaking exclusively as part of FourFourTwo's Players Lounge series – you can order the latest mag here.

"After getting my degree in Mechanical Engineering, I was drafted by an indoor team called the Baltimore Blast. This was before the days of MLS. As it turned out, Baltimore were touring England that summer. We played Aston Villa in two indoor games. Dwight Yorke – another Trinidadian – had signed for them a couple of years previously. 

"I played in both games and did quite well. A Reading scout was there and spotted me and the club got in touch and offered me a trial. They gave me a contract a couple of months later."

Football's gain was evidently a huge loss to the cosmos. At least Hislop found another job with plenty of rockets, missiles and superstars. 

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