Who Ate All the Pies? the Premier League's 10 Fattest Footballers of All Time
Gone are the days of a top-flight football team heading to the pub after training.
Since Arsene Wenger helped herald the age of meticulous diets, personally-tailored exercise regimes and clubs that watch their employees' each and every extracurricular move, it is harder for a player to return from the summer break out of shape.
Of course, many still manage it. Former Middlesbrough striker Jan-Aage Fjortoft recently tweeted his disgust at those who do not control their excesses in their downtime:
In 2013 there are still players who come back from holiday too FAT! Disrespectful to teammates and fans.— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) July 24, 2013
Inspired by Fjortoft's outrage, here are the 10 fattest Premier League stars of all time...
If Chelsea are successful in their pursuit of England striker Wayne Rooney, they may be getting more player than they bargained for—quite literally.
Thanks to his penchant for summer trips to Las Vegas, where he has previously been spotted drinking and smoking (h/t Daily Mail), Roo often turns up at the start of the season carrying a few extra pounds.
Last summer, the 27-year-old admitted he had returned to training seven pounds overweight (h/t The Guardian), while his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson often voiced his concern over his star forward's portly tendencies.
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The journeyman midfielder is now at Nottingham Forest for the second time, but has been on the books at Tottenham, Charlton and Sunderland.
At each club, he was the recipient of the dreaded "Who ate all the pies?" chant, due to his...well, you can see why.
Defender Sol Campbell, one of the few players to cross the great divide between Tottenham and Arsenal, joined Newcastle at the age of 35.
By then, time had taken its toll and the centre-back had started to fill out a little. He reacted angrily to Toon supporters criticising his condition based on an unflattering photograph from training.
"I accept that the picture wasn't flattering and I do need to catch up on my level of fitness, but the training kit was not very flattering and showed up all sorts of things," he explained to Soccernet (via The Guardian).
That's right, Sol, blame the shirt.
Recently-retired Egyptian striker Mido was a sensation when he first arrived at Tottenham on loan in 2006, but even then he had a noticeably rotund frame.
Prior to the 2008-09 season at Middlesbrough, Mido turned up having lost two stone during preseason. Sadly, not so long after, he was sent out on loan and gradually faded into obscurity.
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Countless Premiership goalkeepers could have made this list—Artur Boruc, Andy Goram and Neville Southall to name a few—but this writer has fond memories of watching Kevin Pressman guard Sheffield Wednesday's net.
The portly shot-stopper regularly received titters of abuse during away trips, but hey, there was just more of him to block the goal.
Pressman is now a goalkeeping coach at Millwall.
"Big fat, big fat John! Big fat, big fat John! Big fat, big fat John! Big fat Johnny Hartson!"
It sounds like an insult, but Wimbledon fans would sing this refrain whenever their star striker put the ball into the back of the net.
The fiery Welshman wasn't always happy to have his weight scrutinised, however, once ordering Wales manager Bobby Gould to "keep his nose out" (h/t, The Sun) after he mentioned it.
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Sometimes, players are unlucky enough to receive a discreet "weight fine" when they return from their summer holiday with some excess flab, but South African striker Benni McCarthy suffered the indignity of having his struggles published.
According to the Daily Mail, McCarthy has been fined seven times in his career for exceeding his target weight of 13st 5lb. At West Ham, he was docked £200,000 of wages, only to be dropped when he finally did lose the weight because it "affected his movement."
It's probably not fair to call Manchester Utd midfielder Anderson "fat," but there are times when it looks as if he has been a little too liberal with the carbs.
The Brazilian didn't help the situation when he posted a picture of cakes in a patisserie on his Instagram. When followers questioned his motives in the comments, he replied [sic]: "Im not fat.. Im sex hahahah."
Well, that's that settled then.
Even in his early 1990s prime with Parma, striker Tomas Brolin was never slim. By the time he arrived at Leeds, it was clear the exceptionally-gifted Swede was not at peak fitness.
His time at Elland Road didn't go well—perhaps because he recently admitted via The Mail Online he was playing badly on purpose and he was frequently fined for not bothering to come to training—and he was decidedly puffy when he resurfaced for a season at Crystal Palace.
Journeyman centre-forward Micky Quinn played for Portsmouth and Newcastle, but enjoyed some of his best years in Coventry. At Highfield Road, fans would proudly sing "He’s fat, he’s round, he’s worth a million pounds! Micky Quinn, Micky Quinn!"
The Sky Blues' cult hero was nicknamed "sumo" and was never shy about poking fun of his own size. He once referred to himself as the Premier League's "fastest player over one yard." (h/t The Sun)