Matt enjoys sport and TV life – by hook or by cook

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LIKE many former sportsmen Matt Dawson has found success off the field following a glittering career in his chosen sport.

While he’s been a favourite on A Question Of Sport for several years – and the live show which hits South Yorkshire for a second tour next month – he’s also shown his skills in the kitchen with stunning results on BBC’s Masterchef.

Library file dated 06/03/2004 of England's Matt Dawson in action. Matt Dawson's international exile was ended today when England head coach Andy Robinson named the Wasps scrum-half in his elite player squad,  Tuesday January 11, 2005. See PA story RUGBYU England. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Matthew Fearn/PA.

Library file dated 06/03/2004 of England's Matt Dawson in action. Matt Dawson's international exile was ended today when England head coach Andy Robinson named the Wasps scrum-half in his elite player squad, Tuesday January 11, 2005. See PA story RUGBYU England. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Matthew Fearn/PA.

So does he believe there is more opportunity for retiring sportsmen to create a fresh life for themselves now than say 20 years ago?

“I don’t know, but you’ve got to do something,” he says ahead of QoS Live reaching Sheffield City Hall on November 2 and The Dome, Doncaster, three days later.

“I went to school, didn’t go to university and pretty much went up to Northampton. I had a few jobs but I then went professional and it was rugby the whole way.

“I would have had to find myself a job somewhere and it just so happens I’m passionate about my food and cooking and I enjoy working on television and radio and I’ve been given a few opportunities to work that.

“I’m still very much involved in and interested in rugby because I follow it with Five Live.”

For now, however, Matt says he is happy to be a pundit rather than suited in the dugout, even with England showing signs of entering a bold new era – if you discount our World Cup failings, that is

“It’s tricky, having done it for so long, to then go and be a coach, which is probably more time consuming and mentally demanding than actually playing in some regards.

“I wasn’t ready to do that before. It’s always going to be a deep-seated passion and maybe one day I will have to get my tracksuit back on, but it’s not how I feel at the moment.

“The closest I get to it is cutting my finger chopping some onions.”

Following last year’s sell-out QoS tour, among the guest panellists for Sheffield this time around are tanned footballer turned pundit and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Robbie Savage and cricket legend Michael Vaughan, plus local motorcycle demon James Toseland and former badminton ace Gail Emms.

Donny gets former football star Lee Sharpe, snooker ace Ken Doherty, former Strictly favourite and athlete Colin Jackson, plus rugby union stalwart Martin Bayfield.