With Harry Redknapp accusing Adel Taarabt of being three stone overweight, we thought we should take this opportunity to show Harry that fat players can still produce the goods.
Over the years, we have seen a number of slightly overweight players in both England and Scotland – we take a look at some of the best.
Clubs: Cowdenbeath, St Mirren, Forfar, Albion Rovers.
These days most clubs like to operate small, pacey strikers, well back in Mark Yardley’s day (1994-2005), things were different! The heavyweight striker netted over 60 goals for St Mirren but his career highlight had to be when the ambulance crew had to call for back-up to lift his stretcher in a match against Clyde.
Clubs: Forfar, Inverness Caley Thistle, Dundee, Peterhead, Formartine United.
If you are looking for a pacey ball playing centre half, you’d be best looking elsewhere, however, if you require a large no nonsense defender Bobby is your Mann. The defender enjoyed a decade in Scottish senior football before moving to Formartine United in the Highland League.
Hull City, Aberdeen, Oxford United, Bradford City, Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Oldham Athletic, Darlington, Barton Town Old Boys, Scarborough Athletic, Walkington F.C
He starred north of the border for Aberdeen, while south of the border he has plied his trade across the leagues, all the way from the Premier League at the top, down to the Premier Division of the East Riding League, slightly nearer the bottom but whatever league he has played in people have questioned his weight and he has answered with goals.
Clubs: Rangers, Leicester City, Watford, Dundee United, SK Brann, Lierse, Brisbane Roar, Gold Coast United, Clyde.
Unlike the others on this list, Charlie Miller has showcased his talent around the world, including spells in Belgium, Norway and Australia, however, just like the others on this list, his weight is just as famed as his football talent. Miller had the vision and passing ability rarely found in a Scottish footballer, however, he also had the belly and weight issues found in many a Scotsman.
Clubs: Nottingham Forest, Tottenham Hotspur, Charlton Athletic, Sunderland, Sheffield United, Blackpool.
In the fast paced modern game south of the border, the fat footballer is struggling to carve out a living for himself. However, when you have the talent of Andy Reid you can just about get away with it. He has 29 international caps to his name and even more importantly, fans have given him his very own fat footballer song – ‘Andy Reid, Andy Reid running down the wing. Andy Reid, Andy Reid been to Burger King’
Clubs: Barnsley, Hartlepool United, York City, Macclesfield Town, Hull City, Stoke City, Stoke City, Preston North End, Cardiff City, Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United, Fleetwood Town, Forest Green Rovers.
The ‘Beast’ as he is affectionately known is now playing for his 13th different English club – and not a single one of them signed him for his petite physique, his pace or his endless running. What Mark Yardley gave to the Scottish game, Parking is currently giving to the masses in England – the big man has well over 100 league goals to his name.
Clubs: Burscough, Vauxhall Motors, Barrow, Fleetwood Town, Luton Town.
With his grey hair and his large belly he may not look like your average athlete but McNulty started last season by keeping Christian Benteke quiet in a pre season friendly and finished the campaign by collecting Luton town’s player of the year award as the club celebrated promotion to the football league – not bad for a fat boy who turned grey at the age of 19!
Clubs: FK Atlantas Barry Town, Boston United, Leyton Orient, Rushden & Diamonds, Doncaster Rovers, Torquay United, Swansea City, Millwall, Northampton Town, Gillingham, AFC Wimbledon
Chants of ‘You’re just a fat Eddie Murphy’ have followed Akinfenwa throughout his career and, looking at the photgraphic evidence, it is not hard to see where the lyrics came from. Despite his round shape Akinfenwa has scored goals wherever he has been and this season he already has six goals in 12 matches for Wimbledon.