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The top 10: Who has the most Premier League appearances of all time?

There have been some longevity monsters in the top flight

As it stands, the active Premier League player with the most appearances is Liverpoolโ€™s Jordan Henderson, who has racked up a weighty 419 and counting during a long spell in the top flight.

With a 38 game season, that is over 10 years of service, but it doesnโ€™t even come close to some of the all-time stalwarts of the competition, some of whom have well in excess of 600 appearances (nearly 20 seasons!).

We take a look at the 10 players with the most Premier League appearances of all time.

10. Phil Neville – 505

We start off this list with the lesser-known of the two Neville brothers, with Gary now a major player on Sky Sports. But it was his brother Phil that managed to remain in the Premier League longer, with the Everton and Manchester United man racking up an impressive 505 appearances spanning across 19 seasons.

His service produced 9 goals, as well as six Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy.

9. Jamie Carragher – 508

One of the ultimate Premier League one club men, Jamie Carragher grew up an Everton fan but spent his entire career across Merseyside with Liverpool, helping them lift the Champions League and two FA Cups.

8. Mark Schwarzer – 514

With over 100 caps for Australia to his name, Mark Schwarzer will go down as a legend for plenty of people, and none more so than Middlesbrough and Fulham fans, where he racked up 650 appearances across the two clubs.

A Premier League winner with Leicester City without playing a minute of football, he kept over 150 clean sheets and was a stalwart in between the sticks for 15 seasons at Craven Cottage and on Teeside.

7. Emile Heskey – 516

A surprise candidate on this list is Emile Heskey, often the point of ridicule for plenty but a Premier League stalwart.

The English striker led the line for Leicester, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic during his time in the English top flight, but it was with the first three that he was most successful.

36 goals for the Foxes earned him a move to Liverpool, where he managed 39 Premier League goals in 150 appearances.

6. Gary Speed – 535

Midfielder Gary Speed spent 15 years in the Premier League, beginning with Leeds United before making the switch to Everton and then Newcastle.

It was in the final years with Bolton Wanderers that most remember him fondly for, with the Welshman helping the northwest side remain in the Premier League and punch well above their weight for four seasons, making over 100 appearances in the process.

5. David James – 572

One of footballโ€™s stranger characters, David James was renowned for his odd antics and changing hairstyles, along with the occasional massive mistake either for his club or for England.

However, he was for the most part a reliable shot-stopper, as his long career in the top flight shows, racking up nearly 600 appearances.

Once bought on up front, it was in keeping strikers out that he excelled, racking up 169 clean sheets across spells with Portsmouth, West Ham, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Watford and Aston Villa.

4. James Milner – 608

Still going strong at the age of 37, James Milner has played in every Premier League season since 2002, and is slowly making his way up these rankings, with the Englishman just one appearance behind third place at the time of writing (March 2023).

Now with Liverpool after spells with Aston Villa, Manchester City, Leeds United and Newcastle United. the Englishman can boast three Premier League titles and a Champions League winners medal in a bulging trophy cabinet.

3. Frank Lampard – 609

Perhaps soon to be demoted, Frank Lampard was a key part of Chelseaโ€™s success in the early 2000s and 2010s, and remains a firm club legend despite a mixed spell in management at Stamford Bridge.

Beginning his career at West Ham, he was often accused of being overweight, leading to the nickname โ€˜Fat Frankโ€™, but on the pitch he was among the best the Premier League have ever seen.

A move across London to Chelsea in 2001 really sent his career into overdrive, and the Englishman racked up 177 Premier League goals, picking up three league titles and a Champions League trophy in the process.

To this day, Lampard remains the highest scoring Premier League midfielder of all time, and managed over 100 caps for England.

2. Ryan Giggs – 632

The most decorated player in Premier League history, Ryan Giggsโ€™ 20 year top-flight career saw him lift 13 Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson, as well as two Champions League trophies and four of each the FA Cup and League Cup.

The Welsh wizard was blessed with a wand of a left-foot, and though not the most prolific goalscorer, Giggs still chipped in with over 100 during his sideโ€™s domination of the top flight.

1. Gareth Barry – 652

Whisper it quietly, but Gareth Barry may be one of the most underrated Premier League players of his generation. A left-footed defensive midfielder, Barry missed just 16 games in his career through injury, and was largely an everpresent in every squad he played in.

A Premier League and FA Cup winner with Manchester City, the Englishman spent time with Aston Villa, Everton and West Brom too, racking up a mighty 652 appearances in the top flight.

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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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