Fattest Football Players of All Time
Born in May 1982 (aged 38), Adebayo Akinfenwa is one of the fattest football players in the world who is still in the business - he currently plays for Wycombe Wanderers. Akinfenwa plays as a striker but is not one of those goalscoring forwards; maybe because of his weight? He weighs around 224 lbs (100 Kg) and is mostly known for his physical strength and heavy weight. This actually can come in handy in one-on-one clashes: The more speed the footballer has, the more inertia he creates, and the harder he becomes to stop.
Akinfenwa is almost near retirement and has played for 15 clubs in his footballing career so far. One interesting fact about the 38-year-old striker is that he’s being ranked as the strongest player in the world in different editions of FIFA videogame series.
Another interesting fact about him is that he can bench press almost twice his body weight (200 Kg). Although Akinfenwa has played almost only for English clubs, he has never played for a club in the Premier League. Maybe again because of his weight? Akinfenwa has been a supporter of Liverpool since his childhood, and his favorite player is John Barnes.
Another fat footballer still in the business, Steve McNulty is an English footballer who currently plays for the National League North club, York City. Aged 36, the footballer is among the fattest football players of all time. He weighs 194 lbs (88 Kg) and is 186 cm tall. That means he has a little bit extra weight, however, that extra weight has not amassed on his belly, but seems to have been distributed throughout his massy body. Just like Adebayo Akinfenwa, Steve McNulty has also played only for English clubs throughout his career, but never a Premier League one; in fact he has never gone beyond the second tier of the English football league system.
McNulty plays as a center-back, and although he has never gone beyond the second tier of English football league system, he has gained six promotions with four clubs he has played for, namely Barrow, Fleetwood Town, Luton Town, and Tranmere Rovers. Nicknamed “Sumo” when at Luton Town, McNulty is actually a product of Liverpool, and although he captained the club’s under-19 team, he never made it to their senior team. Despite his weight and massy body, McNulty is a defender who is also known for his aerial abilities.
Born in December 1981 in Barnsley, Jonathan Parkin, simply known as Jon Parkin, is among the fattest football players of all time. Parkin weighs 187 lbs (84 Kg) and is 193 cm, so he’s a massy type with almost no extra weight. The 38-year-old striker retired from football in 2019 with York City the last club he played for in his career. Just like the other two footballer already mentioned, Parkin has never played in the Premier League; in fact he has never gone beyond the second tier of the English football league system, but he has played in all EFL divisions. The best club he played for, among more than 10 clubs he served during his career, is Cardiff City which is a Championship club.
One interesting fact about Jon Parkin is that he has never kept a diet or athletic life style, on the contrary, he has enjoyed full-calorie meals containing pizza, cheese and sausage bean especially for breakfast even before training. Fans called him “the Beast” and when he played they chanted “Feed the Beast and he will score”.
Parkin made 586 appearances throughout his footballing career scoring 190 goals in total (almost one goal in every three matches). He made most appearances for York City, Macclesfield Town, Preston North End and Fleetwood Town for each of whom alone he appeared more than 50 times.
Aged 46, Robert Alexander Mann, simply known as Bobby Mann, is a former Scottish footballer who played as a defender and retired in 2011 while with the Scottish club, Formartine United. In fact, Bobby only played for Scottish clubs during his 20-year footballing career and shined with Inverness Caledonian Thistle as the club defeated Celtic in the Scottish Cup in February 2000 and promoted to the Scottish Premier League for the first time in 2003-04 season.
Bobby weighs 85.7 Kg and is around 191 cm tall, so although he’s almost heavy, he’s tall enough to compensate for that weight. Unfortunately, there is no information regarding Bobby’s weight at the time he was active as a footballer, but as you can see in the above photo, he had been somehow a heavy-weight footballer at his own time with a massy body. They say the 46-year-old former footballer started to work as a taxi driver in his hometown, Dundee, after his retirement.
Again a Scottish fat footballer! Born in September 1969, Mark Yardley played football as a career from 1988 to 2005, and during his time in the business, like his other mentioned Scottish counterparts, played only for Scottish clubs. He was actually a striker and made a total 325 appearances throughout his career scoring 116 goals which translates to almost one goal in every three appearances. Yardley weighs almost 83 Kg and is 188 cm tall; that means he can be on our list of fattest soccer players in the world.
As you can see in the above photo, it looks he got a belly too! However, that did not get in his way, or he didn’t let, as a footballer. Once interviewed by Daily Record in mid-2019, Yardley revealed that he loved St Mirren football club for whom he had played from 1995 to 2003 and that his love never diminished for the club. He said in the interview that even when other clubs he’s a supporter of played against St Mirren, still part of him wanted the Scottish club to win. Yardley scored 68 goals for the same club during his spell with them.
Danish retired footballer and manager, Jon Molby is among the fattest football players in the world who has played for a Premier League club, namely Liverpool, during his career that lasted from 1981 to 1998. And not only for Liverpool, but also he played for Norwich City, Barnsley and the Eredivisie giants, Ajax, in those years. He was also accepted into Denmark senior national team in 1982 for whom he played until 1990. As a manager, Molby managed Hull City and Kidderminster Harriers, besides his former club as a player, Swansea City.
During his time as a player, Molby played in the role of central midfielder and playmaker and even could establish himself as a successful penalty taker. The 56-year-old former Danish midfielder weighs 92 Kg and is 188 cm tall as of now. This actually means he’s got a little bit extra weight, but as it’s clear in his photo, that little extra weight existed even when he was a player. However, that didn’t got in his way as a player, as he was chosen to Liverpool first-team squad in 1980s and shined for the Premier League club in the same decade.
And here comes a fat goalkeeper on our list of fattest football players in the world! Jeroen Verhoeven, the former goalkeeper of Ajax (between 2009 and 2012) who retired from football in 2017 is 195 cm tall, however, despite his height which is almost near 2 meters he weighs 218 lbs (almost 99 Kg). Based on his height, he should have weighted something around 90 Kg, but with that 9 Kg extra weight, it means that he’s among the fat footballers and in fact among one of the fattest of them.
Jeroen Verhoeven was never chosen to represent the Netherlands national team, and although he made his way to the Eredivisie top club, Ajax, he only had 3 appearances for them; maybe because of his weight? Or maybe because of his large waistline for which he was often teased by opposing fans. And not only the opposing fans, but sometimes home fans also teased him as once in a match against ADO Den Haag in 2010-11 season, they chanted “Pizza, Pizza!” whenever the Dutch goalkeeper touched the ball!
One of those footballers who has grown really fat after his retirement, Tomas Brolin was not only a Sweden international but also served top clubs such as Parma, Leeds United, and Crystal Palace during his footballing career. When one looks at his photos as a player, it may to look to him/her that the Swedish man had a potential to get fat! And indeed so, because he’s a much fatter man today!
Born in 1969, Brolin is by now 51 years old. They say Brolin weighs 163 lbs (74 Kg), but that information is probably wrong since he looks fatter than some of the footballers with a heavier weight already mentioned in this post.
Brolin’s senior career as a footballer lasted only 14 years (from 1984 to 1998) with a broken-foot-bone injury that was actually the main culprit for his early retirement. The Swedish forward received the injury when 25, and could never perform as he had done before the injury.
Another goalkeeper on our list of world’s fattest football players, Neville Southall is a retired Welsh goalkeeper who only served English clubs in the country’s different league tiers during his 22-year footballing career with the best of them being the Premier League club, Everton. The 61-year-old Welsh man also served the national team of his country (Wales) for 15 years, namely from 1982 to 1997. One interesting fact about Southall is that he played until 44, although when he was 41 - and the fourth oldest player in the Premier League at that time - he was criticized for being too overweight and old to play in a professional league.
Southall is 185 cm tall, but we don’t know exactly about his weight. What is clear from his photos, as in the photo above, is that he is overweight to some extent, and they say, that overweight even grew when he was nearing the end of his career.
Despite being a fat goalkeeper, however, Southall was an accomplished one: Not only he was named on the PFA Team of the Year for four consecutive times and IFFHS chose him as one of the top ten goalkeepers in the world again for four times, but also he was named among the 100 greatest players in 20th century by the World Soccer Magazine.
If we are to crown a footballer as the fattest of the fattest in our list of heaviest soccer players ever, we will definitely pick William Foulke, and if you take a look at his photo below, you will agree with us in our choice. He defines fatness in every aspect of the word! And still this is surprising for us how such a fat player was even allowed to play in clubs such as Chelsea and Sheffield United, however, knowing that it was in early 1900s and that the player played as a goalkeeper may to some extent convince us - and maybe you - that this might happen!
If you ask us, he’s not, in fact, that fat but huge. This is what actually made him suitable for the role he played, because with such a huge body he could actually fill more space in the goal! About his weight, there are different reports, but one thing is for sure, and that is he weighed 152 Kg at the end of his career. Nicknamed “fatty”, Foulke was also a professional cricket player. He died in May 1916 at the age of 42. During his life, he also appeared once for the England national team.
The Brazilian star who won the FIFA World Cup in 1994 with the Brazilian national team, Ronaldo is one of those footballers who grew fat toward the end of his career and even fatter after that. He weighs 82 Kg and is 183 cm tall. So by these figures, he doesn’t seem to be that fat, however, if you look at some of his today’s photos, he looks fatter - especially in the face - than what he really is.
As a player, Ronaldo was often considered as a complete forward who was both good at scoring and providing assists, and if not the best Brazilian footballer - indeed after Pele, he’s for sure one of the best Brazilian footballers and one of the best in the world. Now 43, Ronaldo was named by Pele in the list of FIFA 100 greatest living players in 2004. He’s also present in 4 halls of fame: Brazil Football Museum Hall of Fame, Italian Football Hall of Fame, Inter Milan Hall of Fame and Real Madrid Hall of Fame.
Former English goalkeeper, Wayne Shaw is one of those fat footballers in love of pies! He even ate a pie during half time in a match against Arsenal not caring about how that may affect his form and also not caring about the fact that a betting company had betted on his eating a pie on Television! Shaw is now 48 years old; he played for more than 10 English clubs during his career that lasted for 27 years, namely from 1990 to 2017, but he never went beyond the fifth tier of the English football system. The reason is quite clear!
One interesting fact about the footballer is that he played first as a center half and was teammate to great players like Alan Shearer at Southampton. However, he was loaned to a second-tier club, Reading, and later was released by Southampton for his overweight. The next club he arrived at was Basingstoke Town, a club competing in the Southern League Division One - the seventh tier of the English football league system. Then he moved to another club in the same tier, namely Bashley, where he changed his role to goalkeeper. Again quite clear why! Nicknamed “Roly Poly Goalie” for his overweight during his footballing career, Shaw weighed 320 lbs (150 Kg), just 2 kilograms less than our fattest footballers list leader, William Foulke.