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Tuesday 01 October 2013

Gareth Barry becomes tenth member of 500 club

Everton midfielder Gareth Barry has made his 500th Barclays Premier League appearance

  • Gareth Barry has played for Aston Villa, Man City and Everton during his top flight career

  • The midfielder played 32 times in his first full Barclays Premier League season at Villa

  • Barry helped the Midlands club finish sixth on four occasions in the Barclays Premier League

  • Man City secured the England midfielder's services in 2009 after 12 seasons at Villa Park

  • One of his six league goals for Man City came against rivals Man Utd at Old Trafford

  • He helped Man City win the 2011 FA Cup and 2011/12 Barclays Premier League title

  • Barry shone on his Everton debut as the Toffees beat Chelsea 1-0 at Goodison Park

Everton loanee Gareth Barry became the 10th player to make 500 Barclays Premier League appearances as he helped the Toffees in their 3-2 victory over Newcastle United on Monday night.

At 32, the midfielder is the youngest player to reach the milestone in the competition’s history. Since making his top flight debut as a 17-year-old academy graduate for Aston Villa at the end of the 1997/98 season, Barry has made more than 30 Barclays Premier League appearances in each campaign since, with the exception of an injury-affected 2001/02 season, in which he played 20 times in the league for Villa.

Barry played his first 365 Premier League matches for Aston Villa and helped the Midlands side finish 6th on four occasions and register top-half finishes in nine of the 12 seasons he spent at the club as a professional. He also played in Villa’s 1-0 defeat by Chelsea in the 2000 FA Cup Final.

The England midfielder, who has been capped 53 times, moved to Manchester City in the summer of 2009. He played 132 times in four league campaigns and helped the club win the Barclays Premier League title in 2012. He also won the 2011 FA Cup with the Citizens.

In a bid to gain more first team football with the 2014 FIFA World Cup on the horizon, Barry joined Roberto Martinez’s Everton side on a season-long loan and made an instant impact as he excelled in a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park on his debut for the Merseyside club.

Gregory praises consistent Barry

John Gregory, who gave Barry his Barclays Premier League debut as a 17-year-old in Aston Villa’s 3-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in 1998, told Everton’s club website: about that time.

“Gareth was 17 years old and had been training with the first team for a few weeks," Gregory said. "He seemed totally comfortable in the surroundings and nothing seemed to fluster him at all. He didn’t look out of place and everything came so naturally to him.

"Because he does everything so efficiently, he is one of those players which the average fan doesn’t really notice"
John Gregory

“He was obviously strong on his left foot but he was such a great passer as well. For a 17-year-old, he had tremendous composure and was exactly the same then as he is today. It’s rare in football to see someone who never has an angry face – but that’s Gareth.

“Nothing has changed today. I still look at him now and see this fresh-faced teenager who goes about his job and gets on with it with no fuss. What Everton fans see now is what I saw when he was 17 years old.

“Because he does everything so efficiently, he is one of those players which the average fan doesn’t really notice. He just goes about his business in such a consistent manner. He very rarely gets booked and I can’t ever remember him getting sent off in his life. He never has a flare-up with opposition players and is just a great guy to have in the team.

“For the first time, the Everton fans will have watched him against Chelsea with a critical eye now that he is one of theirs – but they would have looked at his performance and not found anything to criticise him about!”

The exclusive 500-club

No. Name Barclays Premier League Clubs Appearances
1 Ryan Giggs Man Utd 623*
2 David James Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Man City, Portsmouth 572
3 Frank Lampard West Ham, Chelsea 557*
4 Gary Speed Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton 535
5 Emile Heskey Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan, Aston Villa 516
6 Jamie Carragher Liverpool 508
7 Phil Neville Man Utd, Everton 505
8 Mark Schwarzer Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea 504*
9 Sol Campbell Spurs, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Newcastle 503
10 Gareth Barry Aston Villa, Man City, Everton 500*

*active player

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Key Points

  • Gareth Barry made his 500th Barclays Premier League appearance in Everton's 3-2 victory against Newcastle
  • The midfielder is the tenth player to reach the landmark in Premier League history
  • Barry is on loan from Manchester City and also made 365 Premier League appearances for Aston Villa

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