Dr Goals and the World Medical Football Championships 2014

GP trainee Dr Kenny Deuchar has played football against David Beckham and is competing in the 2014 World Medical Football Championships.

Dr Deuchar has played football in Scotland and the US, and now in Brazil (Author image)
Dr Deuchar has played football in Scotland and the US, and now in Brazil (Author image)

When did you join the British Medical Football team?

I joined the team in October 2013, when I went for a trial. The guys had tried to get me involved a couple of years earlier when the competition was in Manchester, but I was playing football professionally for Livingston at the time and my manager would not let me play in case I picked up an injury.

Why are you playing football in Brazil this month?

The fact that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is in Brazil this year must have been a big factor in the organisation's decision to have the medical world cup here too. It really does add to the sense of occasion.

We are based in Natal, in northern Brazil, and the tournament and conference runs from 6 July (my birthday) until 12 July, when we hope to be playing in the final.

We won't be attending any of the FIFA World Cup games, but will be in the country for at least the semifinals and final, so the atmosphere should be amazing.

Are you aiming to live up to your nickname, Dr Goals?

I think we have a good chance and we are playing with the intention of winning the championship.

The team won in 2009 in South Korea and for the past six years, has been in the semifinals or better, so we are always contenders.

I play as a striker and goals seem to have been a problem for the team in the past, so the pressure is on. I think the team has lost on penalties a few times.

I was nicknamed Dr Goals when I played in Major League Soccer in the US, against the likes of David Beckham. I've had other nicknames: Jeff Stelling, the main presenter on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday, named me The Good Doctor when I was scoring lots of goals for Gretna FC.

How do you combine football and working as a GP?

I played for Arbroath towards the end of last season and was training twice a week, but the focus was to get fit for Brazil. I retired from professional football two years before this.

I am a GPST3 and work at Doune Health Centre in Stirling, Scotland, but I am due to take up a partnership at Denny Cross Medical Centre in Denny, Falkirk, in August.

I graduated from Dundee University in 2003 and played part-time football for Falkirk and East Fife. I then worked as a preregistration house officer in Stirling for a year, before swapping my stethoscope and part-time football at East Fife for full-time football at Gretna.

I worked 1.5 sessions in rheumatology per week for most of my six years playing football and completed a PgDip in sport and exercise medicine from the Glasgow Universities.

I've played for various teams over the years, but highlights include playing in the Scottish Premier League, Major League Soccer, the Scottish Cup Final and winning various Scottish leagues and the Challenge Cup.

I actually counted 16 footballers currently playing in the FIFA World Cup whom I have either played with or against.

How did you combine medicine and professional football?

It was difficult to fit it in, the university social life certainly suffered.

My career as a medic was probably helped by my breaking a leg twice, once at the age of 19 and then again at 20. My football career was almost over before it began.

I spent a lot of time in the gym rather than on the football field, for about 18 months during my second and third year at university.

Most of my supervisors on medical placements were hugely supportive of my footballing activities. Only the head of the clinical years at university was less than helpful - he told me to give up football after I'd gone to him for a bit of advice and support. Needless to say, I didn't consult him again and just got on with it myself.

What's next for you, in terms of football and medicine?

My wife has put her foot down and I won't be playing with Arbroath next year, but I would like to keep training, maybe once a week, with a view to next year's Medical World Cup, which is being held in Los Angeles.

Perhaps I'll get a bit more time for golf. I have a young family and time is precious. I also part-own a restaurant company, which runs The Wheelhouse, in Falkirk, and The Boathouse, in Kilsyth, North Lanarkshire.

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