I used to be the tallest participant within the EFL… now I battle crime & gangsters in Canada


THE ONCE former tallest participant within the Soccer League now has a really totally different profession preventing gangsters in Canada.

The towering 6ft 7in striker grew to become a agency favorite with the likes of Birmingham Metropolis and Stockport County again in his heyday.


This 6ft 7in former Birmingham striker was the tallest participant within the Soccer LeagueCredit score: Information Group Newspapers Ltd
He is now fighting mobsters for the Calgary Police Force


He’s now preventing mobsters for the Calgary Police Drive

He’s now loving life as a part of the Calgary Police Drive.

The person we’re speaking about is, after all, the legendary Kevin Francis.

The 55-year-old was plucked from non-league Mile Oak Rovers by Derby County in 1989 however after simply 17 appearances he was off to start his journey into soccer folklore when becoming a member of Stockport County two years later.

Francis was noticed taking part in for the Rams’ reserve aspect by then County supervisor Danny Bergara, who claimed he immediately needed to signal him.

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The large man scored 5 to assist them seal computerized promotion as runners-up within the outdated Division 4 after which hit 26 the next season to assist the membership attain Wembley twice, though they misplaced each occasions.

However his hot-streak continued the next yr with 33 targets as one other Wembley look got here alongside – however as soon as once more it was disappointment in retailer within the remaining of the Autoglass Protect.

Undeterred, he discovered the web one other 30 occasions the following season, and there was one other Wembley defeat, as the massive golf equipment started circling.

He nonetheless managed one other 13 targets for Stockport within the 1994/95 season earlier than his hometown group Birmingham Metropolis swooped to signal him in January for £800,000.


And he couldn’t have gotten off to a greater begin for the Blues as this time he loved Wembley glory within the Soccer League Trophy towards Carlisle.

After which he adopted that up by serving to them end as champions of Division Two with eight targets.

He stayed at Birmingham for 2 extra seasons in what’s now the Championship however started to wrestle with accidents, though he did play a key function of their run to the League Cup semi-finals in 1996.

Francis left Birmingham in 1998 to hitch Oxford United, scoring eight in 40 appearances, previous to a quick return to Stockport in 2000.

However he suffered a damaged leg on simply his fourth look and was launched on the finish of the season.

Nonetheless, regardless of that unhappy finish to his time with the membership, he was nonetheless named “County Player of the Century” in 2002.

Brief spells with Exeter Metropolis and Hull Metropolis adopted earlier than he bowed out of the Soccer League to signal for Hednesford City which was adopted by stints with Redditch United and Studley previous to retirement in 2005.

Francis additionally loved a style of the worldwide scene, successful two caps for Saint Kitts & Nevis after qualifying by way of his dad and mom.

The giant Kevin Francis achieved legendary status at Stockport County


The enormous Kevin Francis achieved legendary standing at Stockport CountyCredit score: Getty

However any ideas of teaching quickly evaporated as soon as he had retired as he launched into a complete new journey in Canada.

After briefly teaching Birmingham Metropolis Women on a part-time foundation, he landed a truck-driving job throughout the pond for a corporation within the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Calgary.

Francis, spouse Sharon and one in every of his daughters Keisha went with him whereas his different lady, Stacey, stayed within the UK to concentrate on her netball profession – a choice that paid off for the now 35-year-old England worldwide star who helped Staff GB safe bronze at 2010 Commonwealth Video games.

Finally, with journeys generally lasting as much as ten days on Canada’s hazardous roads, in 2009 he joined the Calgary Police Drive after on the lookout for a one other new enterprise.

He presently serves on the Gang Suppression Staff, which is dedicated to monitoring and investigating native legal teams, and it’s as terrifying because it sounds – though he’s nonetheless producing award-winning shows.

Chatting with The Athletic, Francis mentioned: “There was one incident at a membership. 

“We had been about to do a walk-through and, in sure locations, all of us go in collectively. Power in numbers.

“It was a chilly evening however we had the home windows down and had been ready for one of many different vehicles to show up once we heard the gunshots and the vary. It’s a really totally different sound within the evening air.

“We checked out one another and sprang into motion. You don’t give it some thought. Weapons out, we ran throughout the road simply as our different unit was coming across the nook.

“The shooter was exterior and his gun will need to have jammed. One of many doormen grabbed him and wrestled him to the bottom.

“I obtained a maintain of the man and obtained the gun from him however there was pandemonium as a result of folks had been saying one other shooter was inside. And the toughest factor for me was staying there by myself and never with the ability to go in with the remainder of the boys to clear the bar.

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“As a result of we practice as a group, we go in collectively. Clearly, the man wanted to be subdued and that was my job but it surely was nonetheless robust.

“We apprehended an accomplice too, who was waiting in a car and ready to drive off. One guy — a completely innocent bystander — got hit inside the bar but survived and we ended up getting a police award for our efforts that night, which was pretty cool.”

He initially moved to Canada to become a truck driver but joined the police in 2009


He initially moved to Canada to develop into a truck driver however joined the police in 2009Credit score: Information Group Newspapers Ltd
His daughter Stacey is an England international Netball star who has represented Team GB


His daughter Stacey is an England worldwide Netball star who has represented Staff GBCredit score: Getty

Supply hyperlink – thesun.co.uk

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