ITV dating series Love Island isn’t complete without one of the lads boasting about their sports career.
We’ve had professional ballroom dancers, boxers, footballers and rugby players although very few of them actually clear the definition of a sporting ‘pro’.
Love Island 2020’s answer to this stereotype is Mike Boateng, who announced in episode 1 that he was a former pro football player before explaining that he is now a police officer.
So, who did big Mike play for? Was he at Real Madrid with Cristiano Ronaldo or playing alongside Lionel Messi at Barcelona?
Who is Love Island 2020 star Mike?
Mike Boateng is a 24-year-old police officer based in London. His family descended from Ghana, where Boateng is the third most common surname.
The 24-year-old has three siblings, alongside two sisters in law. You may recognise his brother, Samuel, from The Apprentice series 12 back in 2016.
His passion from a young age was always football and he almost made it as a professional after joining Sheffield United at the age of 19.
In an Insta post, Mike rounded up his life-changing decade where he went from football to the force saying:
What a decade it’s been for me with a lot of good moments and some bad ones too, but in all, I give glory to God for the past decade because the growth has been real. From signing to a professional football team @sheffieldunited to becoming a whole gat dam police officer!
Mike Boateng’s football career
The term professional could be used quite loosely when describing Mike’s football career.
He joined Sheffield United at the age of 19, which made him too old for the youth system but not good enough to break into the U21 or senior squad.
Sheffield United are a professional team playing in the top tier of English football although Mike never played a game for the men’s first team.
Mike trained alongside now England U21 international Dominic Calvert-Lewin and is still friends with him to this day.
However, Dominic now plays in the Premier League with Everton and earns around £20,000 per week at the age of 22, and is expected to receive a huge pay rise over the next few years.
In comparison, Mike’s professional football career was dead in the water after a year or two at Sheffield United.
Mike went out on loan from Sheff United and played for semi-professional side AFC Emley in the Northern Counties East League outfit, a colossal nine league below the Premier League.
Essentially, the midfielder joined the Blades in July 2013 from Hansworth FC, trained with the club for one year and eventually decided to quit the game following his scholarship termination and an unsuccessful loan spell at semi-pro level.
How to watch Love Island 2020
Series 6, also dubbed Winter Love Island, airs new episodes every weeknight and Sunday on ITV2 at 9 pm.
On Saturdays, a weekly highlight episode airs.
The 2020 series has been rumoured to last fewer weeks than any prior series, with just 4-5 weeks of Love Island expected to air across January and February.
As always, you can catch up with any missed episodes via the official ITV media player, ITV Hub.
WATCH LOVE ISLAND EVERY WEEKNIGHT AND SUNDAY FROM JANUARY 12TH 2020