On This Day in 2017: Gareth Barry sets Premier League appearance record

West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal – Premier League – The Hawthorns
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Gareth Barry became the most experienced player in the history of the Premier League on this day in 2017.

The former England midfielder made his 633rd appearance in the competition as he played the full 90 minutes of West Brom’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.

His involvement took him past the previous record of Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs.

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Then 36, Barry was into the 21st season of a professional career that began with Aston Villa and also included spells with Manchester City, where he won a Premier League title, and Everton.

His landmark appearance attracted plenty of attention, and West Brom manager Tony Pulis honoured him by making him captain for the night.

The player himself, however, preferred to acknowledge the achievement without fanfare.

“It will be nice to put this milestone to bed,” said Barry, who had joined the Baggies that summer.

Barry (left) won a Premier League title with Manchester City

Gareth Barry, left, won a Premier League title with Manchester City (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I’ve not really given it too much thought. There is so much concentration on what you are doing.”

Barry made a further 20 appearances that season to raise the record to 653.

His career continued for another two years though, due to West Brom’s relegation, the 2017-18 campaign proved to be his last in the top flight.

After Barry and Giggs, the next player on the list is Frank Lampard with 609. Liverpool’s James Milner, in fourth place with 594, is the highest player still active.

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