The Premier League stars that are still turning it on in the veteran stages of their careers.
Shane Long is a professional soccer player who plays as a striker for EFL Championship club Reading. He is also a veteran of the Republic of Ireland national team, having begun his senior international career in 2007.
Long started his senior club career at Cork City after spells at Borris St Kevin's and St Michael's as a youngster. He was snapped up by Reading in 2005 and was part of the Royals side which won promotion to the Premier League and finished eighth under the guidance of Steve Coppell.
He joined Southampton in August 2014 and spent close to eight years there before returning to Reading in the summer of 2022.
Starting at Reading
Long joined Reading on June 7, 2005 and scored three goals in 10 Championship appearances off the bench for the Royals as they earned promotion to the Premier League.
Reading won the Championship title, but Long's playing time was limited due to the presence of Kevin Doyle, Dave Kitson and Leroy Lita in the squad.
The 2006/07 season saw Long's role in the team increase and he went on to score four goals in 24 appearances in all competitions. In their first ever Premier League season, Reading finished a remarkable eighth.
On the final day of the season, Reading needed a win against Blackburn Rovers to book their place in the UEFA Cup. They drew the match 3-3 to a Benni McCarthy-inspired Rovers managed by Mark Hughes.
"We've got to be delighted with our season - we're not in Europe but just to hit the post and come out, as it were, is a significant achievement," said Coppell.
However, Reading were unable to maintain the momentum of their maiden Premier League season and they were relegated back to the Championship, finishing 18th.
Coppell stayed on as manager as Reading sought to bounce back at the first attempt in the 2008/09 season. After finishing fourth in the league, they were knocked out in the play-off semi-finals. Long scored nine goals in 43 appearances in all competitions.
In 2009/10, under Brendan Rodgers and then Brian McDermott, Reading finished ninth with Long scoring nine goals in 36 appearances.
The 2010/11 season was a breakthrough campaign for Long who notched 25 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions. Reading finished fifth in the Championship under the guidance of McDermott.
Bagging for the Baggies
Long signed a three-year contract with West Bromwich Albion and immediately became a regular. He made 33 appearances in all competitions and scored eight goals.
Long began the 2012/13 season in fine form. He won two penalties against Liverpool at the Hawthorns, helping condemn Brendan Rodgers to a nightmare 3-0 defeat in his first league game in charge of the Reds.
He scored goals against Everton, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Chelsea and Sunderland in the league, while also adding a brace against Yeovil Town in the second round of the League Cup - taking his goal tally for the season in all competitions to seven by the end of November.
Despite interest from other clubs, Long remained at West Brom for the start of the 2013/14 season.
Highlights included scoring against Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side in a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge and bagging a brace against Aston Villa, earning him the man-of-the-match prize in the derby.
Shane Long and Hull City
Long joined Hull City on a three-and-a-half-year deal in January 2014 and made his debut away to Crystal Palace in a 1-0 defeat on January 28. He scored his first goal for the Tigers in a 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on February 1.
On March 22, 2014, Long played his first match against West Brom since leaving the club, receiving a warm reception from travelling supporters at the KC Stadium.
Time on the south coast - Southampton and Bournemouth
Long joined Southampton on August 14, 2014 on a four-year contract for a reported transfer fee of around £12million.
Having scored 20 goals in his first two seasons at Southampton, Long struggled to recapture his form in front of goal, scoring only 17 in the subsequent six seasons.
On June 4, 2020, he signed a new two-year contract with the club, extending his stay until after the 2021/22 season. However, he signed for Bournemouth on loan on February 2, 2021.
Long scored his first goal for Bournemouth in a 2-1 loss to QPR on February 20. Long contributed to the Cherries' push for Championship play-offs in the 2020/21 season, scoring twice in 11 appearances.
The Cherries lost out in the play-off semi-finals however, and Long returned to Southampton, clocking up a further 19 appearances in 2021/22 and scoring once.
Long was released by Saints at the end of the campaign, signing a one-year deal with Reading.
Republic of Ireland
Long earned his first senior cap for the Republic of Ireland on February 7, 2007 in a 2-1 win over San Marino.
Previously, he played for his country at U-19 and U-21 levels. Long was named the Football Association of Ireland Young Player of the Year for 2007, after scoring his first goal against Bolivia and then a brace against Denmark.
Long married Kayleah Adams in June 2013. The couple have two daughters, Teigan and Erin, and a son, Jax.
As of 2021, Long has a base salary of £3,120,000, as per Spotrac.