Jon Parkin: Forward known as 'The Beast' retires aged 37 after 14-club career

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Jon Parkin: The 6'4" 19-stone striker with over 200 goals

He has been famous for terrorising defences for 20 years, not with his super speed or deftness of touch, but rather his no-nonsense approach to the art of being a centre forward.

But after more than two decades, 14 different clubs and 650-plus games 'Big' Jon Parkin has hung up his boots.

The striker known as 'The Beast' was loved by fans of the teams he played for and taunted by those he played against, but Big Jon was never one to pretend he was something he's not.

A typical pre-match meal would include fishcakes, burgers and a fry-up for the 17-stone frontman who stands 6ft 4in tall.

"It's come to that time in my career where no matter how hard I try, I simply can't run the 100m in under 10 seconds any more," the self-effacing striker said on Twitter.

"I always knew that once my pace went that I could never be the same player so I've decided it's time to hang the boots up."

But behind the jokes and banter was a proper player - Parkin has featured in all three tiers of the English Football League as well as the National League and National League North, where he ended his career with York City last season.

Jon Parkin
Jon Parkin has played for Barnsley, Hartlepool, York, Macclesfield, Hull, Stoke, Preston, Cardiff, Doncaster, Huddersfield, Scunthorpe, Fleetwood, Forest Green and Newport

"I think it's around 670 games and 225 goals, which ain't too bad for a fat lad from Barnsley," added Parkin, who was part of the Stoke City squad that won promotion to the Premier League in 2008.

He never got to play in the top flight, though, as the Potters sent him out on loan to Preston - for whom Parkin would net 31 goals in 108 appearances - that August.

The Parkin chant of 'feed the Beast and he will score' may not be heard around English grounds any more, but he is hoping to stay connected with supporters.

Parkin is planning on becoming an after-dinner speaker while the 37-year-old also has his own podcast and YouTube channel, so his diehard fans can still get their fix of The Beast.

Jon Parkin's tweet
Jon Parkin announced his retirement in typical Jon Parkin fashion