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'England’s heaviest footballer’ nets first career hat-trick

THRIVING: Akinfenwa (right)

WEIGHING 16 st, Northampton Town’s Adebayo Akinfenwa is often lampooned by fans because of his size but the striker had the last laugh on November 10.

The 30-year-old, who is believed to be the heaviest player in the Football League, scored three goals in the Cobblers’ 2-4 win over Accrington Stanley at the Crown Ground.

It was the Londoner's first career hat-trick and, as he explains, was made that much sweeter due to jeers he received from the terraces.

Akinfenwa told the Northampton Chronicle: “Their fans were giving me some stick a couple of minutes before my first goal so it was nice to shut them up a little bit.

“It’s a beautiful thing. I want them to talk when they need to talk. I know it’s pure banter and part and parcel of football. When they do that, I generally score so they need to keep doing it so I can keep scoring goals."

Akinfenwa, who has 107 Football League goals to his name, continued : “If I was playing a game and they weren’t doing it I would think something was strange so they can do what they’ve got to do and I’ll do what I’ve got to do.”

Northampton manager Aidy Boothroyd was full of praise for the former Millwall and Swansea forward.

Boothroyd told BBC Sport: "I think Bayo is a fantastic player, he's better than League Two but I think that about a lot of our players.

"He seems to be thriving at the moment."

Speaking about his diet, Akinfenwa – who is nicknamed ‘The Beast’ and has scored 10 goals in League Two this season - commented: “I eat loads — but I’m not a McDonald’s or fast food guy. But I think I should have shares in Nandos because I live there so much.”

“The day the fans stop singing my name I must be doing something wrong. I try to play with a smile.”

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