Sports career

10 normal star jobs before their sports career – including Deontay Wilder at Burger King

While some sports stars have never had a normal job in their lives, many have had to pay their dues in other careers before they can pursue their sporting dreams.

Deontay Wilder, who will face Tyson Fury for the third time next month for the WBC heavyweight championship, worked at Burger King in his youth.

The Bronze Bomber’s rise to superstardom in the boxing world is just one example of many who have built their careers from very humble beginnings.

Another is WWE star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who worked as a dishwasher before turning his attention to the world of professional wrestling and the bright lights of Hollywood showbiz.

Star Daily Sport passed through nine other stars who worked normal jobs before shining on the football field, in the boxing ring and in the UFC Octagon.

Deontay Wilder



Deontay Wilder arrived at the opening of fast food restaurant Mr Ts in Batley, Yorkshire in 2020 – after working at Burger King during his youth

Heavyweight titan Deontay Wilder has earned at least $5 million for his 2020 rematch with bitter rival Tyson Fury.

However, the Bronze Bomber hasn’t always had it so easy. Wilder grew up in the impoverished West End of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and his mother left when he was just nine.

While his father worked multiple jobs, Wilder cared for his three younger siblings and worked multiple jobs at Burger King and IHOP fast food restaurants to help support his father.

At nineteen, Wilder became a father. However, her daughter, named Naieya, was born with spina bifida and her child’s mother passed away. In order to earn more money to hopefully provide his daughter with the treatment she needed and the quality of life she deserved, Wilder quit his job at IHOP and took up boxing. , indulging in the sweet science as well as one might have hoped.

In 2008, despite boxing for only three years, Wilder won the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics. Since then, he has amassed a 42-1-1 professional boxing record and earned more money than he ever did. never could have imagined.

Antoine Joshua

Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has spoken a lot about his childhood as he rose to the top of professional boxing.

Like Wilder, Joshua started learning soft science relatively late, having excelled in other sports at school, including track and field.



Anthony Joshua’s rise to the pinnacle of boxing has been phenomenal

In an interview with JD Sports, Joshua revealed that when he started boxing he was already taking his first steps into a career as a bricklayer and wanted to continue pursuing that while developing as a boxer.

“Around the time I started boxing, I was learning masonry. I was getting my masonry qualifications.

“What I love about masonry is that it’s a job you can do anywhere in the world and a business you can start.

“So I think I would have tried to build an in-house business where I could be a renovation man.”

Joshua has since left the masonry world behind for the bright lights of Wembley Arena. But who knows, maybe when he retires, he might still find the time to set up this masonry business.

Tyson’s Fury

Tyson Fury is one of the biggest stars in professional boxing today, following his dramatic win over Deontay Wilder last year.

Born in Manchester, Fury was named after legendary heavyweight Mike Tyson. He was born three months premature and weighed only one pound. His father John settled on Tyson, as he was a fighter and somehow survived the premature birth.

Fury’s childhood was tumultuous to say the least. He dropped out of school at just 11 and joined his father and three brothers in paving the roads. However, this job was not for the Gypsy King either. Instead, he would continue to focus on his own professional boxing career, joining the family business Fury, and was trained by his father and uncles.

Fury vs Wilder III is set to take place on July 24 and at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with the WBC and Ring Magazine heavyweight titles on the line.

Which past sports star career are you most surprised by? Let us know in the comments section below.



Tyson Fury dropped out of school aged just 11 and joined his father and three brothers in tarring the roads
Tyson Fury dropped out of school aged just 11 and joined his father and three brothers in tarring the roads

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor remains the UFC’s biggest star, even after being stripped of his featherweight title and losing his lightweight belt to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

However, prior to his rise to fame and his UFC debut, McGregor was as ordinary as it gets. The Notorious loved sports and played football as a youth before turning to boxing to defend himself against bullies.

In 2006 McGregor moved with his family to Dublin and began a plumbing apprenticeship, before quitting and taking up MMA full time. In an interview with the Guardian, McGregor discussed this decision.

“It just wasn’t for me. I would wake up at 5 a.m. and walk around in the dark, freezing cold until I hit the freeway and wait for some guy that I didn’t even know lead me to the site, where I worked for 12 hours, then I was escorted back and walked home I know there are passionate and knowledgeable plumbers But I didn’t like the plumbing.

After giving up his plumbing career, McGregor began collecting welfare checks at $235 a pop to fund his MMA training. He picked up his last check a week before making his UFC debut, and will never look back after that.



Conor McGregor during an open training session in 2013
Conor McGregor during an open training session in 2013

Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar is one of the biggest UFC and WWE stars of all time. With monstrous athleticism and the charisma to go with it, he remains the only person in history to hold a UFC and WWE belt at the same time.

However, before beginning his career in combat sports, Lesnar had a career in the United States military at heart and wanted to work with explosives. At 17, Lesnar joined the Army National Guard, but was given a desk job after his color blindness was deemed too severe for his preferred role.

He would fail a computer typing test and was fired weeks later to work in construction.

Six years later, he would sign for WWE and remains one of their biggest stars to this day, with John Cena calling him “the greatest in-ring performer of all time”.

The contractor

The Undertaker, real name Mark Calaway, is one of the most beloved stars to ever grace the WWE ring.

Calaway signed with WWE in 1990 and his career in the professional wrestling promotion spanned 30 years, until his retirement last year.

But before making his WWE debut, the 6-foot-10, 309-pound Texan was a nightclub bouncer and debt collector, probably the perfect job for the huge Calaway.

He would go on to have an incredible career in WWE and retired last year at the age of 55.

Jamie Vardy

The story of Jamie Vardy is now well known, after his meteoric rise to the top of the professional ladder. Now earning £140,000 a week, Vardy is Leicester’s highest-paid player.



Jamie Vardy worked in a factory during his lower league days
Jamie Vardy worked in a factory during his lower league days


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However, before making his debut as a professional footballer, Vardy was a factory worker, making carbon fiber braces to supplement his income as a semi-professional.

Early in his playing career, Vardy also had an assault conviction for a 2007 incident outside a pub. That incident left him stuck with a curfew, which meant he could only play for 60 minutes, before having to rush home.

However, he managed to overcome all of that and had one of the most remarkable football careers of all time.

Stuart Pearce

Footballer Stuart Pearce had a legendary playing career before embarking on a management career.



Former Nottingham Forest left-back and ex-electrician Stuart Pearce demonstrating his skills at his second previous job
Former Nottingham Forest left-back and ex-electrician Stuart Pearce demonstrating his skills at his second previous job

However, before the two, the defender trained as an electrician and during his time at Nottingham Forest even advertised his services on matchday programs to earn extra cash.

These days that’s no longer a problem for Psycho, after 400 appearances for Forest and 78 for England, as well as stints as manager of Manchester City, Forest and even the Great Britain Olympic team. .

Andy Robertson



Andy Robertson's rise to Liverpool and Scottish left-back has been truly admirable
Andy Robertson’s rise to Liverpool and Scottish left-back has been truly admirable

Andy Robertson has developed into one of the top names on Liverpool’s squad sheet since signing from Hull City in 2017, and now earns around £50,000 a week.

However, when Robertson started his professional career at Queen’s Park in Glasgow, the full-back was not earning as much, with the club only paying travel expenses.

As such, Robertson held two jobs alongside his playing career; on the tills of Marks and Spencer and for the Scottish FA and Hampden Park, where he answered the phone and took bookings for matches and concerts.

Robertson even revealed that when Belgium played Scotland he showed Vincent Kompany in his seat. Several years later, Robertson would be part of the team that knocked Manchester City side Kompany out of the Champions League and would win the Premier League title the following year.