Crystal Palace’s defender needed a distraction while recovering from a knee injury. His solution? Investing in start-up projects
Scott Dann politely turns down the offer of a lab coat and, with a brief shake of the head, makes clear he wants nothing to do with the proposed pair of goggles, either. All of which reinforces the sense that a laboratory on Imperial University’s White City campus is an incongruous venue at which to find a Premier League footballer tantalisingly close to his return from long-term injury.
Yet to the lab technicians at Polymateria, diligently developing a new standard in biodegradable and compostable plastics to combat global pollution, the visitor is not a seasoned centre-half. Rather, he is a shareholder, one of those investors who helped make all this possible. For Dann, too, this is an unconventional relationship with benefits. “I’d go into the training ground at Crystal Palace every day and work hard on my rehabilitation, hitting my targets, staying on track,” he says. “But away from there it was about keeping focusing mentally on something else unconnected with football.