Originally Posted by matilda
I have never heard of "the grey worker road" but I have heard of a "grey collar worker."
I've checked on the web for an exact definition of a grey collar worker and there appears to be a different interpretation of it, depending on which country you are in.
To my knowledge, a grey collar worker does the lowest paid work, as opposed to a white collar worker (top jobs) or a blue collar worker (technical worker, mechanic, etc.)
I think, in the context you give, your disappointed, would-be footballer has probably been forced to do menial work such as food preparation or table clearing in the catering industry.