Ex-Chelsea star ditched Match of the Day to become a PASTOR, supports Joey Barton, and claims women should be the ‘submissive helper’ in relationships

The transition from playing to expert is a well-trodden path in football, and was one that Gavin Peacock initially looked to master when he hung up his boots in 2002.

The versatile footballer enjoyed a fine 18-year career at the top level, notably helping to promote Newcastle to the Premier League in 1993, before playing for Chelsea for three years after being signed by Glenn Hoddle.

He quickly landed a role at the BBC after retirement, and Peacock appeared regularly on flagship programmes, including Match of the day, Better focus and Scorewho impresses fans with his knowledge of the game.

He also proved that Chelsea remained close to his heart by hosting a weekly podcast on their official club website.

But then his career took a dramatic turn.

Gavin Peacock (pictured) was a Chelsea hero who played for the club between 1993 and 1996 and hosted a weekly podcast on their official website after retiring

Gavin Peacock (pictured) was a Chelsea hero who played for the club between 1993 and 1996 and hosted a weekly podcast on their official website after retiring

Peacock (third left) has appeared as a pundit on Match of the Day and Football Focus

Peacock (third left) has appeared as a pundit on Match of the Day and Football Focus

Peacock (pictured outside his childhood church in Bexley, London) has had a dramatic career change and is now a pastor at a church in Calgary, Canada

Peacock (pictured outside his childhood church in Bexley, London) has had a dramatic career change and is now a pastor at a church in Calgary, Canada

Maybe we should have seen it coming. Peacock began preaching in his local church towards the end of his playing career after becoming a Christian as a teenager, and then hosted a feature on Football Focus about faith in the game in 2006.

The signs were there that he was considering spreading his wings away from football.

Two years later, he left the BBC to begin a master’s degree in divinity at Ambrose Seminary in Canada, and he has remained in North America ever since.

Peacock (56) now lives with his wife of 35 years, Amanda, in Calgary where he works as a pastor at Calvary Grace Church.

If we lived on the other side of the world, it would be reasonable to assume that we wouldn’t hear much from him anymore.

But Peacock thrust himself back into the spotlight last month when he showed support for Joey Barton following his outburst about female pundits and commentators working in the men’s game.

Barton spoke out about the number of women hired to cover men’s football, while also mocking the quality of women’s football by claiming he could score 100 out of 100 penalties against England goalkeeper Mary Earps.

Joey Barton has hit out at women working in the men's game on social media

Joey Barton has hit out at women working in the men’s game on social media

Barton claimed he would score 100 out of 100 penalties against England goalkeeper Mary Earps after her Sports Personality of the Year win last month

Barton claimed he would score 100 out of 100 penalties against England goalkeeper Mary Earps after her Sports Personality of the Year win last month

Peacock also claimed there is a big difference between men's and women's football

Peacock also claimed there is a big difference between men’s and women’s football

He posted a supportive message to Barton after his online rant in early December

He posted a supportive message to Barton after his online rant in early December

Peacock was only too happy to jump on board when he posted on X: ‘A lot of people ask me what British professional division the England women’s team could play in.

‘My answer is always “none”. The physical strength and aggression of any men’s pro league would be overwhelming.

“It’s not sexist, it’s just a simple fact of biological difference.”

He then messaged Barton directly, adding: ‘Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) put his finger on an issue others are afraid to talk about.

‘I agree with him about female experts and co-communication. Presentation and interviewing are different.

“The whole thing is indicative of a wider communal awakening malaise that will not hear opposing opinion.”

Having made his views on women in football very clear, it doesn’t take a long scroll through Peacock’s social media to learn his opinion on them in society.

He was co-author The Great Designa book that presents a theological view on gender roles in 2016, and regularly spreads the message online to his 20,000 X followers.

On November 13 last year, Peacock wrote on X: “A well-ordered house for unity and fruitfulness: a man as loving head. A woman as submissive helper. Children who obey parents.’

Peacock posted his controversial views on gender roles on social media

Peacock posted his controversial views on gender roles on social media

Peacock also believes 'marriage is between one man and one woman'

Peacock also believes ‘marriage is between one man and one woman’

He followed this up a week later by declaring: ‘Men set the tone and direction of marriage.’

Peacock went a step further last weekend when he posted: ‘Marriage is between one man and one woman.

“A husband is the head of his wife and loves her as Christ loves the church. A wife respects her husband and submits to him in everything as the church submits to Christ.

‘Children obey their parents in the Lord. A biblical family.’

He expressed his controversial views despite legislation allowing same-sex marriage being passed in England and Wales in 2013 and coming into force the following year.

Indeed, same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada in 2005, meaning it has been allowed in the country Peacock currently lives in for nearly two decades.

Peacock (pictured with wife Amanda) has expressed controversial views when it comes to gender roles in relationships

Peacock (pictured with wife Amanda) has expressed controversial views when it comes to gender roles in relationships

If Peacock did have any ambitions to get back into the limelight, his chances of realizing that dream seem to be diminishing by the day.

With each misogynistic post that appears on their timelines, Peacock and Barton can see their media careers move further into the distance.

But maybe Peacock is perfectly happy with that. The man who once appeared regularly with Gary Lineker and co. Saturday nights seem to have changed beyond recognition.

It was a remarkable career turnaround for the former Premier League footballer, and one that now looks almost impossible to reverse.