Henri Lansbury decided to hang up his boots at 32 with the former Arsenal midfielder turning his attention to turfs after a lockdown hobby developed into working with Champions League sides.
Former Arsenal wonderkid Henri Lansbury has decided to retire in order to focus on a surprising new career.
The midfielder, 32, played for Luton during the 2022/23 campaign but had his season hampered by a serious injury.
He played just 54 minutes of league action for the Hatters after October as the side stunningly clinched promotion to the Premier League.
Lansbury was released following the end of his contract at Kenilworth Road. But instead of finding a new club, the Arsenal academy product has decided to hang up his boots in favour of a new venture working on football pitches.
What started out as a lockdown gardening hobby has evolved into a full blown business, named Grass Gains, which has seen Lansbury work on Fulham’s Craven Cottage turf and Belgian outfit Genk. He revealed his next venture will see him begin work at AS Monaco’s Stade Louis II ahead of their upcoming Champions League and Ligue 1 campaigns.
|The midfielder came through Arsenal's famed academy as an exciting prospect (Image: PA)|
Lansbury told talkSport: "It came about during the first lockdown when I was stuck at home and got into gardening. I started to spray my weeds with toxic stuff and put toxic fertiliser down and my missus wasn’t too happy about the kids running on the grass straight after.
"I was trying to usher them off and she said ‘why can’t they just make an organic fertiliser?’ I put my head together with my mate and me and the boys have cracked on and taken it to another level."
Lansbury added: "We’re going in the right direction, a few local clubs have asked for it and we’ve put it down on their pitches as well. I want to give back to the local clubs really, I want them to have a nice pitch to play on, there’s nothing better than a kid running on a pitch with stripes on it and that’s what it does, it helps stripe it off."
The midfielder’s love of fertiliser knows no bounds, even prompting him to perform a lawn-mowing celebration in September last year.
Lansbury emerged as a promising youngster at Arsenal in the noughties and was a regular in the England under-21s set-up. He featured eight times for the Gunners but went out on loan to Scunthorpe, Watford, Norwich and West Ham in search of game time.
|Henri Lansbury won the Championship Play Offs Final in his last season as a professional footballer (Image: Getty Images)|
He eventually made the decision to leave permanently for Nottingham Forest, where he remained for five years, making 150 appearances and scoring 33 goals. Having signed for Aston Villa in January 2017, Lansbury would help them earn promotion to the top flight two years later.
A single season at Bristol City was followed by his Luton move, before deciding to call time on a 16-year career.