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Former Premier League striker Rob Hulse is working as a physiotherapist in the U.K.’s public health service after the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) helped him make a succesful career transition.

Hulse played in more than 350 games for clubs including West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United, Leeds United and Derby County but decided he wanted to pursue a new career outside football.

He now treats amputees and the elderly in a hospital in Dudley, England, "dealing with quite emotional stuff: people at the end of their life, people desperately trying to get onto prostheses (artificial limbs) and get walking again."

Hulse, 39, said he finds the work challenging but very rewarding. “There are highs and lows each day working in a hospital,” he said.

FIFPro is featuring Hulse's video interview with the PFA as part of the 'Mind the Gap' campaign to help player unions advise footballers on life after football.

Hulse received help from the PFA in the final years of his 15-year career as a player to start a physiotherapy degree at the University of Salford. The player union helped him enroll on courses, arrange work placements and financed 80% of his education costs.

He graduated last year with a first-class degree.

hulse charlton 325Pat Lally, director of the PFA education department, said he was proud of the former striker's career transition, noting Hulse was using the teamwork and communication skills he used in football.

“All players have numerous transferable skills,” Lally said. “It’s just a matter of finding a suitable career to transfer those skills into.”

Hulse advises footballers to explore what they are interested in before planning for a new career.

"There is life after football.

“You need to find something that you love, something that you are passionate about, and that will make life so much easier.

“Start planning, start thinking about what you want to do and then go for it.”

Picture: In one of the last games of his career, Rob Hulse plays on loan at Charlton Athletic in 2012.

Credit: VI Images.