In the forty years which has elapsed since he started training at the age of fourteen, until his appearance on the podium in the 1999 World Championships in Vienna, Austria.
The career of the Anglo Italian John Citrone has been anything but short on success. A whole series of affirmations on physique contest podiums and in life generally have brought him from a modest family of ice cream merchants in Frozenone, Italy to become a great sports champion.
Champions are not born, and John had to earn his position in life with passion, hard training and discipline. One could say that John was born for the sport he loves. The more he trained, the more he gained strength and muscular volume.
Today John’s in his sixties, he is the Body Builder who has competed for the longest time, a career that extends over 50 years unique in the British Body Building Hall of Fame. In this respect he holds a unique record. Mr Britain titles in all three age categories, junior, senior and masters, besides eight Mr Universe titles, two Mr. World titles, and these honour's must be added the British bench press title and his exceptional performance as a strong man.
Strength has always been a Citrone characteristic, as he has demonstrated at countless shows. He is a complete athlete with a compact and super muscular physique and also a world authority on the sport.
At the age of 25 in 1968 with a body weight of 176 pounds and a height of only 5 foot 4 inches, he bench pressed 488 pounds before a large audience in Northern Ireland, a record that stood for many years.
John Citrone's career started in 1958 in Chester-le-Street his native town where he began his climb to the world body building elite after a few months training he bench pressed 220 pounds at a body weight of 143 pounds.
At sixteen while still a schoolboy, he bench pressed 297 pounds at a body weight of 151 pounds. He used to train alone in a little room set apart from his father’s ice cream parlour which he later inherited.
In 1960 he started competitive body building. In 1961 he won the junior Mr Britain title and became famous throughout the U.K. He took part in the NABBA Mr. Universe in 1963/64 and in 1965 he won the Mr. Britain.
In 1966 he won his first Mr. Universe title also the Mr. Europe title. In 1967 John Citrone won another Mr. Universe title beating the famous American Freddie Ortiz, he then retired from competition but came back in 1982.
In 1991 he again returned to compete and at 48 he won the Mr. Europe and Mr. Britain Masters. At the age of 51 in 1994 he won the masters NABBA Mr. Universe and the Masters WABBA World Championships. The following year he repeated these two successes.
John Citrone says proudly that he remains what he has always wanted to be all of his life, a body builder. He is probably the most respected and authoritative exponent of body building in England, if not the world.
For John to achieve what he has throughout his life it has taken him a lot of time, hard word, discipline and dedication. He has competed worldwide for his titles and has become one of the most respected bodybuilders in the industry.
In 2000 he earned his place in the British Body Building Hall of Fame where famous names Bill Pearl, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Platz also reside.