Richard takes advantage of Open goal

First class: Richard Hinds has achieved a law qualification thanks to the Open University.
First class: Richard Hinds has achieved a law qualification thanks to the Open University.
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OWLS defender Richard Hinds has earned a first-class honours degree in law as he plans for life after football.

The 30-year-old defender has been studying in his spare time on an Open University course.

He will be awarded his degree at a ceremony in Birmingham this summer.

When he sat his final exams it coincided with another happy event, the birth of his first child, Abigail.

Hinds - whose contract with Wednesday runs out in the summer - is not hanging up his boots yet.

But he says: “Football’s really a very short career and it can end at any moment; that might be a bit of a cliche, but it really struck home when I broke my leg a couple of years ago.

“At the time, I’d already started my law degree and it just cemented my view that you should retrain for the future while you’re still playing.

“If I’d had to finish playing at that time, I’d have been two or three years off finishing the course and that would’ve been time wasted in terms of not being qualified and having no income.”

He was out for months after being injured in the second League game of the 2008-09 season, at Wolves.

Hinds added: “The OU offers lads who are playing the opportunity to get a degree while allowing you to work at your own pace.

“They were great with me, and the level of support they’ve provided has been different class. It’s just a case of building on that good work now and looking at the next phase, which will be a Legal Practice course.”