Marcus Stewart has paid homage to the longevity of Jermain Defoe’s Premier League career.
One of the most iconic footballers England has produced, Defoe has scored 151 top-flight goals in an illustrious career.
The 34-year-old struck his first Premier League goal for West Ham United in a 3-2 victory at Ipswich Town in October 2001, and has since scored at every top-flight club he has been at - Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth and Sunderland.
With eight goals in 17 league appearances already this term for David Moyes’ side, Defoe is showing no sign of slowing down as he aims to emulate his league tally of 15 goals last term, his second best season of all-time.
Speaking to safc.com, Stewart, who knows all about scoring goals in red and white, has hailed Defoe, admitting the forward’s long-lasting career is a testimony to the way he has looked after himself year after year.
“He has been immense,” he said. “He went away to America for a year and came back to the Premier League and Sunderland have got a fantastic player in him.
“It’s a testament to him to be able to look after himself like he has. It’s clear he looks after himself off the pitch and he is obviously a fantastic role model.
“He has a huge part to play in football still and he adds value to the team and the football club because he just keeps on scoring.”
“I have got full respect for him and as part of staff at Bristol Rovers we talk about Jermain all the time and how we applies himself,” he continued.
“He might be 34 but he is still doing it at the highest level so I have full respect for him.”