At the age of 35, not many people would be able to put in 90-minute shifts in League Two week on week; step forward Jon Stead.
The veteran striker made his football debut all the way back in 2002, and has managed to score in every single season as a professional footballer.
He’s played in all four divisions of English football, and has now made 151 appearances for Notts County, with a neat return of 47 goals.
Remarkably, he’s made more appearances in the black and white of Notts County than he has for any other club in his career, his next highest being 83 during three seasons with Bristol City between 2010 and 2013.
Stead’s been Notts County’s top scorer with 14 goals in both 2015/16 and 2016/17 and also managed to win the Magpies’ Player of the Year Award in 2016.
Despite this constant form he’s shown over his three years with Notts, the arrivals of frontmen Kane Hemmings and Kristian Dennis over the summer, both for significant transfer fees, made it look like his amount of time in the starting eleven would decrease.
But Stead has stood up the competition and managed to keep Kristian Dennis out of the team all season so far.
Jon Stead has had his critics throughout his career, especially during his time at Sunderland where he had signed for £1.8m from Blackburn, and only managed to score one in 30 in the Premier League.
But he’s also had his critics whilst at Notts – many fans thought that he should have been dropped a long time ago, but as always he’s proved his doubters wrong.
Now he’s arguably playing the best he ever has for the Magpies, giving 100% for the shirt, as he always has done, and even though he’s 35 and made 617 appearances in all competitions throughout his 16-year long career, he’s playing like someone ten years younger.
Stead has already scored six goals this campaign in all competitions, including the winning goal at Macclesfield last time out. His loyalty and dedication to Notts is undoubted and Notts fans are now wholly supportive of him. He may have divided opinion in the past but he’s quickly becoming one of the best Notts players, on and off the pitch, in recent history.
One thing that Stead has never done in his illustrious career is score a hat-trick, let’s hope he can do that with Notts so he remembers his time with Notts as well as Notts fans will remember his time with the club.
Picture Credit: Notts County