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Top 5 All-Time Premier League Appearance Makers


Gareth Barry - 653 PL Apps

The leading player with the most appearances in Premier League history is former Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton, and West Brom midfielder Gareth Barry – making the bulk of his 653 appearances at Aston Villa.

After joining from Brighton as a trainee, Barry came through the ranks at Villa to become a regular for the West Midlands outfit. He racked up 365 Premier League appearances across his 11-year spell at Villa Park, before moving to Man City for £12million in 2009 and becoming one of the more underrated signings that the Citizens made as the Sheikh Mansour era got underway.

Barry helped lead them to their first major trophy, clinching the FA Cup in 2011 before securing their first Premier League crown in 2012. He played 132 Premier League games for City in his five years there, before moving to Everton after an initial loan spell at Goodison Park.

The defensive midfielder made a further 131 Premier League appearances for the Toffees, then signed for West Brom in 2017. Barry captained the Baggies for his 633rd Premier League game, which saw him overtake Ryan Giggs and rise to the top of the all-time Premier League appearances table. He went on to make another 20 appearances in the top flight, taking his tally to 653, before hanging up his boots in 2020.

Ryan Giggs - 632 PL Apps

Second on the list is Ryan Giggs, who made all 632 of his Premier League appearances at Manchester United.

It’s somewhat a surprise to see only one of Manchester United’s famous Class of ’92 makes this list, but Giggs is the only one that got a place in this list. The Welsh winger was the first of that famous 1992 FA Youth Cup side, which featured the likes of Gary Neville, David Beckham, and Paul Scholes, to break into the first team after signing a professional contract with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side at the age of 17.

He stayed at the club for his whole career and retired in 2014 after winning 13 league titles, two Champions Leagues, four FA Cups, and four League Cups.

Giggs was the only player to play in each of the first 22 seasons of the Premier League, as well as the only player to score in each of the first 21 seasons. He also holds the record for the most assists in Premier League history with 162 assists – 51 more than second-placed Cesc Fabregas.

Frank Lampard - 609 PL Apps

Frank Lampard is third on the all-time Premier League appearance list, after making 609 appearances, 429 of which were during his time with Chelsea.

It was at the Blues that saw Lampard become one of the greatest midfielders in Premier League history, leading the West London outfit to three Premier League titles, as well as four FA Cups, two League Cups, and a Champions League.

The box-to-box midfielder began his career at West Ham, coming through the ranks at youth level before breaking through and becoming a first-team regular under Hammers boss Harry Redknapp. He made 150 Premier League appearances for the Hammers before his move to Stamford Bridge in 2001, where he stayed for 13 years before a surprising move up north.

After his contract expired in 2014, Lampard’s destination looked to be New York to play for MLS outfit New York City FC. The free-agent decided to play for their parent club, Manchester City, initially believed to be just before the MLS season started but ended up playing a full season for the Citizens – and even scored against Chelsea in his 32 league appearances. After one season, Lampard left for New York where he played until his retirement in 2017.

James Milner - 588 PL Apps

The only player in this top five list that is still active in the Premier League and could add to his tally of 588, James Milner is the fourth highest.

Milner grew up in Leeds and played for his boyhood team at youth level, before being promoted up to the senior team in 2002. His debut appearance made him the second-youngest player ever to play in the Premier League at the time, at the age of 16 years and 309 days. He played 48 times in the league for the Yorkshire side, before signing for Newcastle in 2004 for £5million.

The industrious midfielder spent five years at St James’ Park, playing 94 Premier League games for the Magpies before moving to Aston Villa.

Milner racked up a century of Premier League appearances for the Villains in his four-year spell. He was then another one of the signings in the early days of Sheikh Mansour’s Man City reign, signing for City in a £26million deal. He played 147 times from 2010 until 2015, helping City clinch that famous title in 2012 as well as playing a part in the 2014 title-winning side.

The midfielder moved to Merseyside as a free transfer in 2015, where he has remained ever since. Milner has made most of his Premier League appearances for Liverpool, just one short of 200 Premier League appearances. Despite being 36, Milner can still do a job so you wouldn’t put it past him hitting that mark next season.

David James - 572 PL Apps

The only goalkeeper on the top five list, David James is fifth with 572 Premier League appearances.

The iconic shot-stopper’s career began in Watford, where he was named as 1991 Player of the Season for the Hornets after his performances in the second division. He then signed for Liverpool in the Premier League, where he made 214 appearances in the top flight.

James had a brief spell at Aston Villa, making 67 Premier League appearances, before a move to West Ham in 2001, where he made a further 64. Then, after two seasons, he made the move to Man City where he made 93 Premier League appearances, before joining Portsmouth. James played 134 Premier League games for Pompey, before moving down to the Championship with Bristol City and then retiring in 2014 after spells abroad.