CLYDE WIJNHARD once hit a treble for Huddersfield Town in a memorable 7-1 Championship win over Crystal Palace.
Twelve years on, the striker from Suriname has a hat trick of interests after hanging up his boots back in 2006.
“Life is busy,” smiles the 38-year-old, who scored 18 goals in 73 appearances for Town between the summer of 1999, when he signed from Leeds for £750,000, and March 2002, when he left for Preston on a free transfer.
“I’m still involved in football through coaching juniors in Leeds, and I also work with agents both here and abroad to set up trials for promising young players.
“But I also wanted to pursue other avenues, and I have set up a business which supplies LED lighting and am also involves in an events and marketing company.
“It’s going well, especially with the lighting. It’s a green product, energy efficient, and in theory, there will always be a demand for it.
“I work closely with local councils, and the government are keen to push environmentally-friendly products like mine.
“Business is very different from football, but I have enjoyed learning the ropes and I am passionate about the product.”
While born in the South American republic of Suriname, Wijnhard’s footballing career began at the famed youth academy of Dutch giants Ajax.
He first caught the eye while on loan to Groningen and his subsequent scoring exploits at RKC Waalwijk and Willem II of Tilburg were enough to persuade then Leeds boss George Graham to shell out £1.5m to bring him to the Premier League ahead of the 1998-99 campaign.
Unfortunately for Wijnhard, Graham moved to Tottenham just two months into the season, with David O’Leary taking over at Elland Road.
“As with any job, if your manager leaves soon after you have signed and someone else comes in with a completely different philosophy, it can be extremely difficult,” explains Wijnhard.
“I was still young and a bit naive and had just moved to a new country. I had been sold the vision of the club through the eyes of George Graham, and while it is no slight on David O’Leary, what I was left with was not what I expected at all.
“Any manager wants to build a team in his own image and with his own players, and unfortunately for me I was still finding my feet in the Premier League and didn’t quite fit in.”
Wijnhard was made available for a transfer the following summer, and Steve Bruce, newly installed at Town, soon stepped in.