Forest Green sign journeyman striker Jon 'The Beast' Parkin from Fleetwood Town

SIGNED: New Forest Green striker Jon Parkin (right) has signed a one-year deal

SIGNED: New Forest Green striker Jon Parkin (right) has signed a one-year deal

First published in Sport Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

FOREST Green boss Ady Pennock has pulled off the shock signing of former Stoke City striker Jon Parkin on a one-year deal from Fleetwood Town.

The nimble-footed 6ft 4ins hit-man scored 10 goals in 40 appearances for The Cod Army last season as they made their way up to League One via a play-off win at Wembley.

He was released at the end of the season and had been training with Conference rivals Lincoln City Forest Green are the 32-year-old journeyman’s seventh club since leaving the Britannia Stadium in 2008, after having helped Stoke City reach the Premier League.

The burly striker began his career at hometown club Barnsley and spent two years at York City before enjoying a prolific spell with Macclesfield Town, for whom he scored 36 goals in 78 appearances.

He subsequently moved to Hull City and then Stoke City for a fee of £275,000.

He enjoyed a three-year spell at Preston North End and gained cult hero status and was affectionately named 'The Beast' by fans.

A hat-trick in a 6-4 Championship win at Leeds United alerted Cardiff and the Yorkshire-man signed for the Bluebirds on a three-year deal in January 2011.

But he struggled for first-team football with the Championship club, making only five starts in 18 months for the Bluebirds and had loan spells with Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town and Scunthorpe United.

Boss Ady Pennock, who coached Parkin at Stoke City, said: “Jon will bring something different to our forward line and for a big man he has a great touch.”

A video interview with new Forest Green striker Jon Parkin and boss Ady Pennock will appear later. Watch a goal clip below of Jon Parkin playing for Stoke against Crystal Palace.

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