Travelling to FIFA World Cups, working with Manchester United footballers and the Sky pro cycling team – this is all in a day’s work for Plymouth graduate, and now professional podiatrist, Steve Lyons. We talked to him about his chosen career path and where it’s taken him...
“It looked a very interesting course and had many avenues of interest, for example biomechanics, foot surgery and the dextrous clinical skills required in professional footcare,” says Steve. “Also there was the possibility of working for yourself in private practice.”
Steve was also drawn to the reward-to-effort ratio: “It’s a career that rewards you enormously in proportion to the amount of effort you put in. There are many facets to a career in podiatry. Until you’re a student it’s difficult to know which avenue you will go down. This is what makes it such an exciting profession.”
The big leagues
Shortly after graduating from Plymouth, Steve moved back to his hometown of Manchester to open a private practice. The following year, he started working with some of the players from Manchester United Football Club, and now attends to the players’ podiatry needs three times a week. He’s also podiatrist to the England senior football team. “Attending the 2002 World Cup in Japan and the 2006 World Cup in Germany have been highlights of my career to date,” Steve says.
But what kind of foot-related injuries are footballers susceptible to? Emma Cowley, podiatry lecturer at Plymouth, explains: “They can experience a number of different injuries over their career. Fractures are the most common – acute/traumatic or stress. One that many will know is the metatarsal fracture that David Beckham suffered a few years ago, often the result of tackles, which can require surgery and months of rehab to recover from.