Jon Parkin, was a product of the Barnsley youth system, and made his debut at 17 against Hartlepool United. For the Reds, he was a strapping defender, his sheer physique suggested that this lad would be a scrapper for the Reds.

His early career at Barnsley was in the 2001-2002 season, during the ill fated management transition, between Dave Bassett and Nigel Spackman.

As favour turned towards new signings and incoming loans, Parkin spent a period on loan, making a handful of appearances for Hartlepool United and York City, before joining "the Minstermen" permanently.

Almost, out of sight - out of mind; Jon began to grab the headlines for the first time, at Macclesfield Town. In 2004, he was now playing in a converted role, up front, and was being hailed as "The Beast" by the Silkmen's fans. He netted 26 times, and set a new club record to boot. He was on the map.

In the following season, whilst restricted by injury, he scored a further 9 goals in just 15 starts, bringing him to the attention of Hull City, in the Championship.

Signing an 18 month deal with the Tigers, he netted 5 times in 19 games, assisting Hull in their survival to remain in the Championship. In the following season, he went out on loan to Stoke City, before his permanent transfer was completed in 2007.

Turning out 27 times last season, his tally amounted to just a couple of goals, but his impact on other play furthered other opportunities for his colleagues. Jon, celebrated promotion to the Premiership , with Stoke, at the end of the 2007 -2008 season.

In the last few seasons, he has developed his own brand. As "The Beast", his style is uncompromising and is a difficult opponent to defend against. His can link up play comfortably; not forgetting, he has a consistent ability to distress defenders at set pieces.

Now, firmly established as a forward, this lad can put the ball in the onion bag. Free of injury and fit, at only 26, Jon Parkin will continue to be a menace - for good few years yet.

I just wish it was with us !!

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