FORMER Manchester United and England winger Lee Sharpe has opened up about his life after football – which has seen him become a professional golfer.
The former footballer won the Premier League three times during his time at Sir Alex Ferguson's United, making 228 appearances for the club and registering 28 goals and assists for the club.
He would go on to appear for clubs including Sampdoria, Leeds and Bradford before retiring from the game following a spell at Northern Counties East Premier League side Garforth Town.
His playing career also included eight England caps between 1991 and 1993.
Away from the game, Sharpe achieved renewed fame when he made appearances on reality shows Celebrity Wrestling, Celebrity Love Island, Dancing on Ice and even picking up a minor role in Coronation Street.
But starting in 2021, Sharpe began competing in professional golf tournaments.
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At the age of 51 he is now officially a professional golfer and seeking a spot on the European Senior Tour, which is now known as the Legends Tour.
Speaking to Golf Magic Sharpe said he's had a love for the game since his playing days.
He said: "I had spells of playing lots of golf even when I played at both Manchester United and Leeds United.
"I actually played in a Mini Tour event with him somewhere in Manchester a while back.
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"I then went away and played in a couple of Mini Tour events as an amateur.
"I rang up to enter one tournament and they said there were no amateurs playing that week but if I paid a bit extra then I could turn pro.
"So I did that by accident really, just so I could play in the tournament and that was my amateur status gone in England."
The former England international is now based in Valencia and is seeking to turn pro in Spain as well.
Talking about his rapid rise to turning pro in his 50s, Sharpe said:
"I honestly fell in love with the game when I first started playing it during my football career.
"But with an obsessive nature I have with sport, I had to be as good as I could. My first handicap was 14 and then I turned pro in England just before the lockdown in 2019.
"But I’m now based out in Spain so am looking to turn pro out here, and my handicap is now 0.5."
He added: "So it’s really just a case of trying to get as low as I can now.
"I’m going to play in a couple of tournaments next year in an attempt to turn pro in Spain.
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"That’s the route we are going with a view to possibly making it on the European Senior Tour.
"If I can make that level of golf then it would be amazing. I’m going to give it a go anyway."
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