David happy to pass on his expertise

Reporter: Chris Lynham
Date published: 22 December 2011

AT the peak of his powers as a professional footballer, David McNiven taught his opponents a few footballing lessons. These days the 33 year old’s job is precisely that: he is a full-time PE teacher at Failsworth Sports College.

David has guided the Year Seven team to the last 32 of the ESFA Under-12 Danone Nations Schools’ Cup.

The former Athletic striker, who spent five years with twin brother Scott at Boundary Park between 1995-2000, turned out for a string of league clubs before winding down at Hyde and Droylsden.

The Scot now represents Workington in the Blue Square Bet North — but his passion lies in passing on his wisdom to youngsters.

“I love teaching. This is my first year at my first school and it has been great so far,” he said.

“It is a different feeling to the cut-and-thrust of professional football but I am enjoying myself here. Hopefully, the students feel the same. I get a lot of comments and reminiscing about the Latics days when speaking to the pupils’ parents. The children wouldn’t know about that part of my life if it wasn’t for their mums and dads!”

The collapse of ITV Digital in 2002, which hit the less wealthy players and clubs in football like a ton of bricks, shocked McNiven into action – and he has never looked back.

“It was a worrying time for a lot of people in the sport because money that had been promised to clubs simply disappeared,” he added. “I was in my mid-20s and remember thinking to myself ‘I am going to need a career after football’. That got the ball rolling for me. I did a teacher training course and a degree in Sports Science at Edgehill University.

“The opportunity at Failsworth presented itself and I am delighted with how things have turned out. I still enjoy my football, as does Scott (now assistant manager at AFC Fylde), but this is an exciting new challenge which I relish.”