English Premiership

Barry equals Premier League appearance record

2017-09-18 14:48
Gareth Barry (Getty Images)

London - West Bromwich Albion midfielder Gareth Barry plans to play on for as long as possible after equalling Ryan Giggs's Premier League appearance record at the weekend.

The 36-year-old started in the Baggies' 0-0 draw against West Ham on Saturday to draw level with the Manchester United legend's mark of 632 games.

Barry, who made his debut in 1998, will beat Giggs's record if he features at Arsenal on September 25.

"It's a huge number when you think about it," Barry told the BBC. "It's gone so quickly. I've been lucky to keep fit through the years. It won't be until you look back and have hung your boots up when you realise how big a number it is.

"When you think of what's happened in between, there's so much which has gone on. It has gone quickly as I remember that moment (debut) well.

"In today's game there's nowhere to hide, everything's recorded. It can help the older players because back in the day when you got to a certain age you were too old no matter what you did. Now if a 36-year-old is running more than a 21-year-old it's there."

Former England midfielder Barry looked likely to fall short of Giggs's mark after losing his starting place at Everton last season, leading to speculation he could drop down to the Championship with former club Aston Villa.

Instead, Barry landed a move to the Hawthorns and is still playing a key role for the Baggies, who sit comfortably in mid-table after an encouraging start to the season.

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