Newport County will walk onto the pitch without Sean Rigg when they play Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley tonight.He left “by mutual consent” and plans to pursue a career as a tattoo artist instead of playing in the big match against the Premier League side. Sean is heavily inked himself and after 12 years in football he’s decided it’s time for a change.”I feel like I’ve had a decent career, money doesn’t rule the world,” Sean tells Newsbeat.”You’ve got to be happy and I wasn’t totally happy with the way things were going.”I wasn’t really getting a lot of game time at Newport.”
The UK’s top footballers are known for raking in the cash, but Sean insists that a successful career in tattooing can be equally lucrative.”People would think that there’s more money in football than tattooing but that’s for players in the Championship and above,” he says.”The tattoo industry is booming at the moment and people make a hell of a lot of money, especially the ones who are knocking out really good work and have a good reputation.”But he’s not quitting the game entirely and will balance a part-time place on a team alongside his new career in the tattoo studio.
“Obviously it helps being in the game still, semi-professional at Bath,” he says.”That’ll give me the chance to build my reputation up and make a good career out of this as well.”He’s hoping to focus on black, white and grey tattoos and in recent years has been practising his skills with the needle on his own body.”I did some on my legs and they’ve come out OK actually,” he says.”I was a bit worried about making a mess of myself but they actually came out alright.”‘I’m ready’But despite his dramatic change in career, Sean will continue to support his former team-mates when they clash with Spurs in the FA Cup fourth-round replay.”I will watch it and I’ll enjoy it, I still chat to the lads there and I want them to do well,” he says. He went on: “You never know, there might be an upset but I’m very happy with the decision I’ve made and I’m ready for that step.”Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra – if you miss us you can listen back here