With our beloved Premier League celebrating it’s 25th Birthday last year, we thought it would be the perfect time to take a look at the EPL’s five highest appearance makers ever.
Gary Speed – 535 appearances
Gary Speed was a top class box-to-box midfielder who made 535 Premier League appearances during spells with Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton, and Sheffield United.
He was a fierce competitor who was blessed with a sweet left foot, and the almost uncoachable ability to always arrive in the opposition’s penalty area at just the right time, to pop up with match winning goals.
Speed became Wales manager after his retirement, but tragically took his own life in 2011 at the age of just 42. RIP to a true Premier League legend.
David James – 572 appearances
Former England international James was a unique type of player. The eccentric goalkeeper had an amazing ability to lurch from making gravity defying world-class saves one minute, to fumbling the most routine of crosses the next.
James had something of a journeyman career representing Watford, Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Man City, Portsmouth and Bournemouth. However, despite being nicknamed ” Calamity James,” early in his career, the fact he made 572 Premier League appearances and played 53 times for England ultimately tells us what a top class ‘keeper he actually was.
Frank Lampard – 609 appearances
As any regular to this site will know, we just love a good top five list, and whether it be most goals, most assists or even now, most appearances, the name Frank Lampard seems to be at the top of nearly every one.
Lampard was a phenomenal central midfielder, who despite scoring goals at a rate that would embarrass most strikers, still managed to perform his defensive duties and create chances for his team-mates.
He began his career at West Ham, although it was at Chelsea that he enjoyed his peak years, and retired with four Premier League title medals and as the Stamford Bridge club’s all-time leading goal scorer.
Ryan Giggs – 632 appearances
Another player that seems to dominate these lists. Giggs began his career as a flying left winger before converting into a classy midfield playmaker later in his career.
His record of winning the Premier League an astonishing 13 times will more than likely never be matched, and the fact he played on until past his 40th birthday, tells you all you need to know about what a top professional he was.
Gareth Barry – 653 appearances
Barry is the only player on this list still currently playing. However, despite still looking fit as a fiddle the 37-year-old is currently plying his trade with West Brom in the Championship, so it remains unclear whether he will get the chance to add anymore appearances to his record-breaking total.
Barry began his career as a centre-back with Aston Villa and spent the first decade of his career at Villa Park. His astute left footed passing and tactical discipline attracted the newly rich Man City to sign him in 2009, and he would go on to win the Premier League title during his time at the Etihad.
From 2014-2017 he again reminded everybody of his enduring quality with Everton, before moving to current club West Bromwich last season.