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Post-career ventures into punditry and coaching are the two most well-travelled avenues for ex-professional footballers, but one former Championship star has gone down a markedly different route in order to put his entrepreneurial expertise to good use.
Dexter Blackstock made 350 appearances for eight different clubs over the course of his 14-year career, earning the reputation as one of the second-tier's deadliest strikers during his time at Nottingham Forest.
However, his post-football ventures have continued to hit the headlines well after the conclusion of his playing days.
Blackstock retired at the relatively young age of 30 to pursue a foray into the world of business, after becoming disillusioned with life in the professional game while plying his trade at Rotherham United.
Four years later, he is a successful entrepreneur in the property and pharmaceutical sectors, and has big plans that have been tipped to revolutionise the medicine industry.
The former marksman has founded MediConnect, an innovative blockchain solution designed to address the ever-growing issue of patients being overprescribed medication.
The ability to register with several companies and obtain multiple prescriptions without proper checks is believed to contribute towards addiction and overdose fatalities.
But Blackstock is convinced that his MediConnect project can help counter the issue, saving lives and reducing NHS costs in the process.
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"As it stands, there is nothing to stop anyone ordering drugs from one online pharmacy, then exactly the same with another company and then going down to their local GP and topping up with the same," Blackstock told The Sun last month.
"The GP has no idea you have already ordered the same prescription elsewhere. Our white paper identifies the need to prevent patients ordering prescriptions with multiple pharmacies."
As well as his pharmaceutical interests, Blackstock is also a keen property investor.
He began gathering a portfolio during his football career, and previously lifted the lid on how his frustrations in the professional game led him to turn his attention to building successful businesses.
"I had two years left at Rotherham and I quit," he told the Mirror. "I had got into property and had the pharmacy interests while I was still playing.
"I wasn't day-to-day in the office but it became a successful business.
"If I didn't have anything else to do or other options I might have toughed it out, but I was washing my own kit in the Championship with no facilities and had finally had enough.
“People said: 'what are you doing' but I felt I could do more with my own time. I said I would take my chances! I have not regretted it for one second.
"I haven't put on my boots or kicked a ball since, apart from with my son in the garden. I have been fortunate things have gone well off the field but I work hard on it.
"Footballers do sometimes get a bad reputation but I brought my first property when I was 18.
"I remember an older player saying to me when I was about 22: 'don't buy a fast car because you will never earn this money again'.
"It was genuine advice but it didn't make any sense to me because how can you say that and restrict your possibilities?"
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