Former Chesterfield, Middlesbrough, Huddersfield Town and Northampton Town goalkeeper Luke Coddington on swapping football for engineering

Ex-Spireites goalkeeper Luke Coddington has swapped football for a job in engineering.

By Liam Norcliffe
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 6:00 am
Luke Coddington has retrired from football at the age of 26.

The former stopper had to quit the game after being advised that continuing could impact his life as he got older.

After deciding to retire last May, Codds, who says going into coaching is not for him, is now busy forging himself a new career in a sector he has always had an interest in.

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“I always wanted to go into engineering after football so I have got an apprenticeship with an electrical engineering company,” he told the DT.

"I started that in September and I am really enjoying it.

"I have always been interested in it and my dad is sort of in that sector.

"I do think I am quite lucky really that I have got the opportunity to do this at a young age. If you go into it at maybe 35 or 36 it can be really, really had compared to 26 so I do count myself lucky in that sense.”

He added: "I have just tried my best to get the best out of a bad situation – what else can you do?”

Coddington signed for Chesterfield in the summer of 2019 when John Sheridan was manager, who had guided them away from relegation the previous campaign.

Hopes were high for a promotion charge back to League Two, but Town soon found themselves fighting relegation again and Sheridan was sacked in January 2020 with the club third bottom.

That proved to be Coddington’s last season in football after rupturing his patella tendon in December.

He said: "When I turned up at pre-season and you saw the players that were there you think ‘we have got a decent side.’ In training we looked fine, everybody was thinking we were going to be up there that season. But it never seemed to click, individual mistakes cost us most weeks.

"If I was Shez I would have been pulling my hair out, I know people used to blame Shez, but at the end of the day if the players are not doing it on the pitch what can a manager do? If you go through the games in that period, daft mistakes cost us so many goals. It was just ridiculous some weeks.

“Shez was class, with some managers you never know what they think about you but with Shez you always knew where you were, what he wanted and what he thought. I liked him. The same with Mark Crossley, he was perfect for what I needed at the time. Glynn Snodin was class too. I think we were lucky to have Snods, you don’t realise how good of a coach he was at that level.

"I never came off the pitch for Chesterfield thinking ‘I have cost the team there.’ I always thought I gave a decent account of myself.

"I am glad that they are doing well now because I really wanted to do well for Chesterfield. I wanted to be in the team that got them back into the Football League or at least get them up there and give the fans something to cheer about again. It is good to see them doing well now and obviously there are lads there that I played with like Liam Mandeville, Curtis Weston and Laurence Maguire. It is good to see Loz doing well because he got injured at the same time as me.

"For some reason it did not work but I look back and I really enjoyed myself at that point even though the results were not going for us.”

As well as Chesterfield, Codds has his boyhood club Middlesbrough, Huddersfield Town and Northampton Town on his CV.

Although he had a short career in football in the end, he is grateful for the moments he experienced.

"I have been lucky enough to play for England as a kid. I went to Manchester United when I was 17 and we went to a tournament in Brazil for three weeks and that was brilliant,” he said. “To be in the Huddersfield squad that got promoted to the Premier League was brilliant, as was coming through the academy at my hometown club Middlesbrough and playing for Chesterfield and Northampton and being involved in big clubs.

"I am really lucky to have experienced that and have the memories of football. Some of the things I have been involved in, money can’t buy. For example, being at Wembley with Huddersfield, I would never have thought in a million years that I would be part of the squad that got promoted to the Premier League. To be on the pitch and take all that in, it does not happen to many players. People can play 600 games and never get that.”

Coddington is at peace with not being involved in football now, although he admits to missing the changing room banter, the feeling at 2.50pm on a Saturday and the emotions after winning.

He says that when he watches matches with his friends he analyses the action rather than just enjoying it like every other fan but he hopes that will eventually change.

"I think my perspective has been moved a little bit coming out of football,” he added.

"I don’t look back on my football career and think ‘what a waste of time’. I don’t see it like that whatsoever. I just think how lucky I have been and to be able to end my career with a piece of mind knowing that I am doing the right thing going forward and hopefully I will have a long career doing what I am enjoying now.

"It is nice now to sit back and not feel the pressure of football and just enjoy it when I want to rather than it being the main part of my life.”