Football can be joy and fantastic, and as you live your dream it makes you fly and really feel great, but at some point it all can be so much different, and when it strikes you never really know. Few or no footballer quits the game at their best, but some have to. Matt Piper was forced out due to a problematic knee injury.
His life as a footballer looked bright when breaking through at Leicester. He was taking steps towards a first team place at Leicester under Martin O’Neill, but had to wait for a number of months before handed his league debut in October 2001, coming on as a sub v. Liverpool after 72 minutes.
Then a loan spell at Mansfield appearead, playing 8 games and scoring 1 goal for The Stags. He returned to Leicester and did get into the first eleven frame under the new management duo Dave Bassett and Micky Adams. Despite seeing Leicester relegated he made history when scoring against Spurs in that last Filbert Street match in May 2002.
This was really the start of the downfall for both Matt Piper and Leicester, as they split company with a move to Sunderland happening for Piper, while the football club had to start the next season at a lower level and work under a lot of pressure with administration challenges during that very same season.
Matt Piper was one of many good players to leave the club that summer, being part of a sell out with himself moving north and staying on in the top flight, whith others such as Robbie Savage and Gary Rowett also splitting company with the club after major sales to Birmingham and Charlton.Embed from Getty Images
To sell a player after just 16 league appearances and half a season as a full time first team alternative might look strange, but the club needed the money so Matt Piper left for a fee of £3.5million. He stayed at Sunderland for four years but struggled heavily with injuries and had his career cut short getting his contract terminated as his professional football career closed after the years at Stadium of Light.
The life after is well documented in his biography which is a good read for those who believe the only way is forward at an young age breaking through, it could all turn out so differently.
Matt told LCFC.com about his journey and a comeback trial and a number of fun facts about that one. Later he did play on in local football doing a good job at Oadby Town for a while, but never managed or did try to get back to playing full professional football again.
TCF – Filbertway is a place to look for that little bit extra as you can find our special update on a number of good biographies on past and previous players listed nicely in this section of the website.
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