With Reading and Ipswich set to do battle in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday, and Iceland recently qualifying for their first major tournament there was only one man we could focus on in this week’s Where are they now? feature.
Ivar Ingimarsson bossed the backline for the Royals and his home nation, and to a lesser extent at Portman Road, making a total of 319 combined appearances, scoring nine goals.
Prior to then he had a spell at Brentford, that such was the affection he was held in with the Bees fans that The Bluetones, a band made up of the club’s supporters, produced this unusual instrumental track named after him.
But following his spell in the Premier league with the Royals and short stint in Suffolk, the 38-year-old retired and moved back to his homeland.
These days you are far less likely to see him barking at his fellow stoppers than you are to spot him doing his bit to encourage tourism to the east coast of the Nordic island.
The 38-year-old has been a key advocate of developing the Egilsstadir area of the country, speaking of how there needs to be more growth and money pumped into the region to drive both visitor numbers and permanent inhabitants.
“There are many obstacles in the way of people wanting to settle here, poor transport within the region and poor transportation out of it are the biggest reason,” he wrote in an article for Icelandic site Kjarninn.
“Here, not any one populated area that can offer up the services of entertainment, culture and education that people today are calling for. There is no college, theatre, cinema, bowling alley or sports teams competing in the top division. It’s just not enough,” he went on to say.
The 30-capped man recently gave the Sky Sports cameras a look around the region he calls home, and spoke of his time out of the limelight…
He has since gone further to boost amenities in the area, alongside his wife building two guesthouses in the town of Stodvarfjodur, some 45 miles south-east of Egilsstradir.
For a reasonable sum of £85 per night, guests can enjoy, according to the website description, “sea and mountain views from your room”, as well as enjoying the games room and children’s playground at the four-bedroom property.
Not set on just being a property magnate Ingimarsson and his wife have gone about adding their own green touch to their home, by beginning work on planting a total of 1,000,000 trees in the area.
The ex-stopper said it himself in the video above that he is not missing football, and judging by the work he is getting stuck into now, his sole focus is on doing his bit for the place it all began.
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