Barry refusing to budge as EPL record beckons

Gareth Barry will make a record 633rd Premier League appearance when West Bromwich Albion take on Arsenal next week.
Gareth Barry will make a record 633rd Premier League appearance when West Bromwich Albion take on Arsenal next week. Nick Potts

FOOTBALL: Gareth Barry says he has no plans to quit yet as he prepares to break Ryan Giggs' all-time English Premier League appearances record.

The West Brom midfielder is set to line up for the Baggies against Arsenal on Tuesday morning (AEST) for his 633rd EPL match, beating Giggs' record - all with Manchester United.

Albion is Barry's fourth club after stints with Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton in a career which began back in 1998.

While some might be thinking of calling it a day, the 36-year-old midfielder, who won 53 England caps, has no intention of hanging up the boots just yet.

"I want to go as long as possible," Barry said.

"Any ex-players and all my family say 'play as long as possible because there'll be plenty of time to sit back and do different things'."

In his 19 years in the top flight Barry has already notched a number of records.

He made his debut for Villa in May 1998 and was the first player to reach 600 starts in the EPL.

Barry also has an unwanted record - the most number of EPL yellow cards, with 119, with Wayne Rooney the only other player to have hit 100.

He was also the scorer of England's 2000th goal - a header against Sweden in November 2011 which was awarded to him despite a big deflection off defender Daniel Majstorovic.

Barry said he still had to pinch himself to thionk of the journey he had made.

"I didn't think I'd get here," he said.

"You make your debut and you're focused on different things.

"When you hit 500 you're thinking you're coming to the end of your career. I've been able to keep going."

Topics:  english premier league football gareth barry soccer west bromwich albion

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