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Physio who kept David Beckham & co sharp brings his expertise back home

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Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere with Greenisland-born physio Simon Harland

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere with Greenisland-born physio Simon Harland

Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere with Greenisland-born physio Simon Harland

He has rubbed shoulders with some of the most famous sporting figures in the world.

Meet Simon Harland, the respected sports physiotherapist who has returned to his native Northern Ireland after working at elite level football.

Simon has treated the likes of David Beckham, Robin van Persie, Thierry Henry, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott.

But now the 40-year-old has set up a clinic in Belfast's Bedford Street, called Replay Clinic.

Simon's career has taken him all over the world, but he is keen to develop a specialist clinic here and spend time with his wife and two children Finn and Pippa.

He told the Belfast Telegraph how he remembered working for Arsenal and with striker van Persie before he moved.

"It was really important to keep him fit and well and healthy," Simon said. "It worked out really well that year, and he made a difference for us, qualifying for Europe and getting a top four spot.

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"We had Thierry Henry back with us for a while, and we had David Beckham with us for a while as well. I was tasked with looking after him."

He also told how one of the rituals of joining Arsenal was singing a song in front of the team.

"I was on tour in Austria – I had only started – and Arsene Wenger, the whole team and the players were having dinner," he said. "Everyone went quiet – I had no inside knowledge.

"The assistant goalkeeping coach gave a blinding performance of Wonderwall, then it was my turn. The players were pointing and laughing, so I had to go for it. I ended up standing on the chair and singing Danny Boy. I got through it and got a great cheer."

Simon, originally from Greenisland, resigned from Arsenal, moved back home earlier this year and opened Replay Clinic three months ago.

Also working there is world-renowned physio Phil Glasgow, who heads up the Sports Institute at the University of Ulster. "He's a great guy," Simon said. "The list of his involvement in sport is endless."

For more information on the clinic, visit replayclinic.com


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