Barry Hayles: Still playing at 45
Last Updated: 08/11/17 5:57pm
He may be well approaching 30 years as a player, but Barry Hayles is still scoring goals.
A mere 13 years since he last played in the Premier League with Fulham, the 45-year-old now finds himself playing for Windsor in the Hellenic Premier League - the ninth tier in the English pyramid - and admits he has lost count of how many clubs he has played for in his career.
"But I know it's double figures and counting!" Hayles told Soccer Saturday. "I'm 45 now and I've started saying this year, as I have many years, that it's probably my last one! But I'm thoroughly enjoying it still.
"I keep talking to old team-mates and they say to me that they wish they'd never stopped playing, so if the phone keeps ringing I'll keep playing."
Such is Hayles' passion to keep playing, that he has even had two spells at Truro City in Cornwall, a 550-mile round trip from where he lived and it involved staying in a caravan overnight, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
"The chairman who called me had his own caravan park, and he said that instead of staying in hotels I should stay in the caravan and it was lovely!" Hayles said. "I'd definitely recommend it."
And it's not exactly surprising that a man who originally worked his way up through the leagues isn't bothered about not playing at the bigger stadiums anymore. He's just happy that his body will still let him keep going.
"I've never really factored the crowd in," he said. "I just love the thrill of playing whether it's in front of five or 25,000 people.
"I think in all the games I've played this season, about 17 or 18, I've only come off once so I know I can still last the full 90 minutes! But I still played every game like it's my last.
"I don't [wake up aching]. I'm quite lucky. A lot of the boys ask me how I feel on a Sunday, but I'm fine. There's got to be an end in sight sometime, but who knows when!"
And if his form and experience did catch the eye of a Premier League club?
"It's got to be Tottenham," he joked. "If they came calling I wouldn't turn them down."
Don't miss the full interview with Barry Hayles and more on Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports News from 2pm on Saturday