A look at… Gareth Barry

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

West Brom’s midfield lynchpin Gareth Barry became the new Premier League All-time appearance holder having been involved in 633 games.

Also the youngest player ever (at 26 years and 247 days) to appear in 300 Premier League games, the 36-year-old Barry started his footballing career as a Brighton and Hove Albion trainee.

In a controversial move (not to be his last), he joined Aston Villa where he made 365 Premier League appearances and was eventually appointed as the captain of the team.

His first Premier League match for Villa came on 2 May 1998, when the then-17-year-old came on for Ian Taylor in a 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday.

It was almost a year before the defensive midfielder/left-back scored his first Premier League goal in a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on 24 April 1999.

Besides being the longest serving member of the team, it was at Villa in 2007 where Barry made his 300th Premier League appearance – becoming the youngest player ever to do so.

In 2008, the former Villa captain was stripped of the captaincy, fined and banned from training after a failed bid to join Liverpool.

Barry did depart Villa the following season in a £12 million move to an up-and-coming Manchester City team. He cited his desire for “a new challenge” as the reason for the move.

After scoring 52 goals in 441 appearances for Villa, Barry scored his maiden City goal against their arch-rivals United in a 4-3 defeat at Old Trafford.

The only black mark in his City stint; the former England national was charged in 2012 for abusing match official Mark Clattenburg in a 3-2 derby defeat to United. Barry was eventually fined and given a one-match ban.

During his four years with City, the hardworking midfield enforcer was a FA Cup (2011) and Premier League (2012) winner.

In 2013, Barry was loaned to Everton on a one-year deal. He was named man of the match in his debut against Chelsea.

During his loan spell, he helped Everton to their best ever Premier League points tally (72 points), finishing fifth. Besides completing the most passes in the club, he also had the worst disciplinary record at the club with ten bookings.

Subsequently, Barry made his Everton stay permanent in 2014. He earned his 100th yellow card (the first player ever) for a foul against Stoke City’s Steven Nzonzi in a 1-0 loss.

The fearless midfield general showed no signs of slowing down as he sent off for cynical foul on Chelsea’s winger Willian and Arsenal’s defender Kieran Gibbs in 2015. He was again sent off in the 2015 FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea.

This season, Barry moved to West Brom. He made his Baggies debut in the 1-0 win over Burnley.

Manager Tony Pulis described Barry as “absolutely fantastic”.

This past Monday, in a 2-0 loss at the Emirates against Arsenal, Barry surpassed Ryan Giggs’ record by making his 633th Premier League appearance.

It was a milestone that was celebrated by all – including opponents Arsenal and Ryan Giggs, the previous record holder.

— Premier League (@premierleague) September 25, 2017

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