There are some players who seem to have been around longer than the Premier League itself, their longevity in the competition proof of their enduring qualities and skill. For younger players who are just starting out their professional careers, the idea of making hundreds of appearances in the Premier League may seem a pipe dream. As it is, let’s have a look at the top ten appearance makers in the history of the Premier League, all of whom have improved their team’s chances in the football odds over the years.
Gareth Barry – 653
Top of the appearance list is Gareth Barry, who in 2017 broke Ryan Giggs’ record when he took to the field for West Bromwich Albion against Arsenal. Barry enjoyed a long and proud Premier League career, playing for Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton and West Brom.
Ryan Giggs – 632
Premier League legend Giggs enjoyed a hugely successful career with Manchester United. A rare example of a one-club man, Giggs completed the proud achievement of scoring in each of the first 21 seasons of the Premier League, before his retirement from playing in 2014.
Frank Lampard – 609
Hero of Chelsea FC, and scorer of many a goal which spurred the team onto numerous Premier League titles, Frank Lampard deserves to be regarded as one of English football’s greatest ever midfield players. In 609 appearances in the Premier League, Lampard scored 177 goals. A good return by anyone’s standards.
David James – 572
David James is the highest goalkeeper on the list of all-time Premier League appearances, having been one of the league’s most recognisable shot stoppers during his spells with Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Manchester City and Portsmouth.
James Milner – 546
The only player on out top 10 list who is still active, James Milner is a true Premier League stalwart, and despite having just turned 35, he is still one of the fittest players around. ‘Milly’, as he’s affectionately known, has been a fan-favourite at every club he’s played for.
Gary Speed – 535
Another Premier League legend is the late Gary Speed, whose death in 2011 at the age of just 42 shook the football community to its core. Speed was a fantastic player, beloved by fans of Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield United, and all football fans who appreciate quality midfield play. His 535 Premier League appearances are a testament to his qualities as a player.
Emile Heskey – 516
Often a figure of mockery among the ignorant, Heskey was a striker of immense power and flair in his best days, and the former England international is a proud member of the Premier League’s 100 club, having scored more than a century of goals in the division. That’s nothing to be sneered at.
Mark Schwarzer – 514
Another goalkeeper, and the only non-British player on the list of top-ten Premier League appearances, Mark Schwarzer enjoyed a fine career in the English top flight. The Australian played in the Premier League for Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea and Leicester City.
Jamie Carragher – 508
A Liverpool legend, Jamie Carragher enjoyed a fine career in which he evolved from an all-action right-back under the late Gérard Houllier, to one of the Premier League’s finest centre-halves under the tutelage of Rafael Benítez. Carragher is now well known for his TV punditry work, but it’s important to remember just how good a defender he was.
Phil Neville – 505
It may surprise some to learn that Phil Neville made more Premier League appearances than his brother Gary, given the latter’s fame as a pundit, but Phil became a stalwart for Everton after joining from Manchester United, in the end making almost as many appearances for the Toffees as he did the Red Devils. Neville sneaks onto the list having recorded a single outing more than both Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard.