He played with Cristiano Ronaldo, but his life changed drastically and he now sells milk in a self-sufficient community

Richard Eckersley retired in 2015 and quit football (Getty Images)

In the 2008/09 season young Manchester United Who was at that time directed by Sir Alex Ferguson The young man was used as a goalkeeper in some matches Richard EckersleyOne of the club’s promises. The young man wearing the number 42 at the time did not even imagine that after 12 years he would be completely far from football and live in a completely self-sufficient, vegan and organic community.

“I was thinking about it the whole time. Cristiano Ronaldo is back at United and the last time he was there, I was there. I was training with him. And now I’m a dairy and a trader, selling oat milk. He still plays football. This is madness. Worlds apart,” he commented in an interview with The Athletic published this weekend.

It’s after sharing a list with stars like the PortugueseRyan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand, Park Ji-sung and Wayne RooneyAmong other things, he went to Burnley in the second division to add minutes, but he was also unsuccessful. After playing for minor league clubs in England, he finally chose to cross the Atlantic and try his luck at MLS where he excelled for three seasons in Toronto. Then the injuries began and after returning to Great Britain to play in the third category at Oldham Athletic, he chose to retire.

I had no money or aspirations. I was coming back from a wedding, had a new baby and told my wife I wanted to quit football. It was a relief. He said about that decision that changed his life and that he does not regret. Even when asked if he would like to be Ronaldo for a while, he replied: “I wouldn’t change for him. I am very happy and I am in control of my destiny.”

Richard Eckersley in the 2009 FA Cup match against Fulham (Getty Images)
Richard Eckersley in the 2009 FA Cup match against Fulham (Getty Images)

He decided with his family to move to Totnes, a city of about 10,000 people and where many independent communities operate. Taking advantage of the greenery on the banks of the River Dart, diverse groups of people have established themselves choosing a more “greener” life and away from the big cities. like he said Eckersley In a TED talk some time ago, it was his interest in the environment that drove him to change his lifestyle.

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“Today we have our own house, our garden, we grow our own food. It’s like a city without roads. It’s a community of about 40 people. Everything is 100% vegan and organic. We produce 25,000 liters of milk per month in glass bottles. Everything is reusable, it’s a model.” A circular business.We have 22 employees, and we want to be the largest distributor of milk in the UK in the next five years. Who knows, maybe Manchester United will store it in their fridges one day?He spoke enthusiastically about the oat milk project that today allows him to be an essential part of this municipality.

He also owns an organic food store that doesn’t use plastic containers, and in 2018 told the site Watchman that companies and large corporations from different parts of the UK have approached him to hear his advice on how to reduce the use of these environmentally harmful substances. In this context, he took the opportunity to raise his voice in this regard: Banning the use of non-perishable plastic food and drink packaging is the only solution.

It was in that conversation when he told me about the stone that turned the scales to encourage him to take that step: “After the birth of Willow, my daughter, it made me think about the future that awaits her. I wanted to say I at least tried, I wanted to make a difference.”

fact Eckersley He took a turn, especially when compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, who shined after starring in the Manchester United He became a legend in Real Madrid, emerged in Juventus and is now back Old Trafford like a hero. Meanwhile, in his own way, he continues to be a symbol of his community, family, and most importantly, his daughter.

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