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The ten players with the most Premier League appearances of all time

Which stars have played the most in the top flight?

If you don’t set the world alight, you can write your names into the history books by sheer longevity, with only 38 games available every Premier League season whether your name is Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, or Brede Hangeland.

But which players hold the awards of having made the most appearances in the top flight to date? 101 takes a look at the top 10.

10. Phil Neville – 505 appearances

Always overlooked in favour of his more successful brother Gary, Phil Neville racked up over 500 appearances across his near two-decade spell in the English top flight, winning six Premier League titles, 3 FA Cups and a Champions League trophy at Manchester United before he joined Everton in 2005.

With the Toffees, he racked up another 241 caps in the top flight, playing at right back and in defensive midfield, and scoring 4 goals in that time.

9. Jamie Carragher – 508 appearances

Now known for his position as a pundit on Sky Sports, Jamie Carragher spent his entire career at Liverpool, largely playing at centre-back but also filling in as a fullback when necessary. He even spent a brief spell as a defensive midfielder.

Although he was never able to lift a Premier League trophy on Merseyside, he racked up over 500 appearances for the Reds across a 17 year spell at Anfield, lifting the Champions League as well as 2 FA Cup trophies and 3 EFL Cups.

7. Emile Heskey – 516 14 appearances

The first of two goalkeepers on the list, Mark Schwarzer called time on a mammoth career after the fairytale Premier League win with Leicester City in 2015-16, having not made an appearance since the 14/15 campaign.

However, before his time at Leicester City, he was the no.1 for Middlebrough and Fulham, keeping 150 clean sheets. He also spent time briefly with Chelsea, before making the move to Leicester, where he made just 6 Premier League appearances.

Loud, commanding, and capable of the miraculous, Schwarzer saved his sides points on a consistent basis.

7. Emile Heskey – 516 appearances

One of the most underrated players of the Premier League era, Emile Heskey was almost unplayable on his day, and racked up 110 goals across his 516 appearances in the English top flight.

The high point of his career came playing for Liverpool, while he also had spans in the top flight with Leicester City, Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa.

6. Gary Speed- 535 appearances

The late, great Gary Speed is a Leeds United, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers legend, while he also spent time at Everton during his 17 Premier League seasons.

Predominantly a left-winger, he occasionally found himself in central midfield or even at left-back for his side. It was in the final third that he excelled, though. His 535 appearances yielded 80 goals and 32 assists, while he also represented Wales on 87 occasions.

5. David James – 572 appearances

England goalkeeper David James was certainly a character, with his hairstyle choices often dominating the back pages. His ability to throw away games earned him the nickname ‘calamity James’ while at Liverpool, but when on song, he was a fine shot-stopper.

The no.1 toured the Premier League, turning out for Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Manchester City and West Ham across the top flight as he racked up 572 appearances across the 5 sides, while he was also capped 53 times by the Three Lions.

4. James Milner – 588 appearances

The only player on this list that can still continue to pile up the appearances, James Milner will be in the Premier League until at least 2023, having signed a new contract with Liverpool in June.

He will be eyeing up third spot on this list, and looking to break the 600 appearances barrier in a glittering career during which he has got better with age.

Stints at Aston Villa, Leeds United and Newcastle United were followed by more successful spells at first Manchester City, and then Liverpool, where he has won three Premier Leagues, 2 FA Cups and a Champions League trophy.

3. Frank Lampard – 609 appearances

One of the all-time Premier League legends, and perhaps Chelsea’s greatest ever player, Frank Lampard racked up 609 appearances across spells at Chelsea, West Ham and Manchester City, but spent the majority of his time in west London.

Across a 13 year spell with the Blues, he lifted 3 Premier League trophies and a Champions League in 2012. He is also the only midfielder in the Premier League in the list of top 10 goalscorers, having racked up 146 with Chelsea and a further 30 with other clubs. His ability to make late runs into the box marked him out as a major threat in every game he played.

The Englishman also racked up over 100 caps for the Three Lions, and was controversially denied a goal at World Cup 2010 that played a large role in the introduction of goal-line technology.

2. Ryan Giggs – 632 appearances

The second Manchester United player on this list, Ryan Giggs spent his career at Old Trafford in an extraordinary career spanning 23 years at the top, which resulted in 13 Premier League trophies and two Champions League wins under Sir Alex Ferguson with the Red Devils.

Deployed almost exclusively on the left of the Red Devils’ attack, the Welshman racked up 109 Premier League goals, with a further 164 assists, in his mammoth 632 outings.

1. Gareth Barry – 653 appearances

One of the most underappreciated players of the Premier League era, Gareth Barry began his career as a left-back but ended it firmly in central midfield. His 653 appearances in the English top flight are unlikely to be beaten any time soon, with James Milner the only player still active from this list and the Liverpool man still 65 appearances behind.

Spending the majority of his career with Aston Villa, Barry also made in excess of 100 appearances for both Manchester City and Everton, winning the Premier League with the Manchester outfit.

It was at Manchester City where he was able to show just how effective he was in midfield, after beginning his Villa career as a left back and working his way more centrally. He is often forgotten, but shouldn’t be overlooked nor underestimated.


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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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