‘Owning pancake house was closest feeling to playing Premier League footy again’

Former Chelsea defender Ken Monkou felt the “pressure” of running his own pancake house as much as playing Premier League football.

The Dutchman spent three years in west London after his move from Feyenoord in 1989. There, he thrived in the spotlight and even won the club’s player of the year award in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

After ending his career with spells at Southampton and then-second tier side Huddersfield Town, Monkou sensationally swapped the challenges of English football for life as a pancake shop owner in Delft, Netherlands.

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Yet contrary to what many of you pancake-flipping enthusiasts may be thinking this Shrove Tuesday, the 58-year-old revealed the job to be exciting but intense.

He told TheFA.com in 2015: “The pancake story is true, although I’m not doing it at the moment.

Would you rather flip pancakes or play football for a living? Let us know in the comments section.

“It was up for sale, and the lady owner said ‘What do you reckon?’. I came back home to discuss it with the guys, and all the figures stacked up, so I thought ‘Why not,’ and I gave it a go.

“We started it in 2007 and finished in 2009, we couldn’t sustain it as I was travelling between the UK and Holland – but it was quite good though.

“It was the closest I got since I stopped playing to feeling the pressure, excitement and feeling like I was doing something worthwhile was the pancake house.”

He added: “I had an open kitchen, and between midday and 2pm we had something like 150 customers, who would all watch me making these pancakes. People didn’t believe it at first that an ex-professional footballer was in the kitchen.

“I only had six burners, so I was working like a trooper, but it was fantastic. It was family run so it was great to spend so much time with me.”


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