Friday, 31 October 2008

Premier League Legends

On October 25th 2008, Ryan Giggs entered an elite club, becoming only the third player in the history of the Premier League to reach the 500 appearances mark. Inspired by this impressive feat, here are brief biographies of the five players with the most Premier League appearances under their belt. All information is correct as of October 31st 2008.

1) Gary Speed - Appearances: 535.
Clubs: Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United.

Currently plying his trade with Sheffield United in the Coca-Cola Championship, Gary Speed is the player with the most Premier League appearances to his name. A fantastic athlete, even today at the age of 39, he rarely fails to complete a full 90 minutes and is a vital part of the engine room at Bramall Lane. Gary was a member of the Leeds United team that won the old First Division title, shortly before the Premier League was created and he has 81 Premier League goals to his name, as well as 85 caps for Wales.

2) David James – Appearances: 520.
Clubs: Watford, Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth.

“Calamity James” may have a reputation for goalkeeping howlers, but he has managed to clock up 520 Premier League appearances in a career that has so far spanned 22 years. An excellent shot-stopper, James has also played 44 times for England and helped Portsmouth to lift last season’s FA Cup, conceding just one goal in six matches.

3) Ryan Giggs – Appearances: 500.
Clubs: Manchester United.

Ryan Giggs is a rarity in the modern era. A one club man who has also earned 64 caps for Wales, he is the most decorated player in the history of British football with twenty major honours, including ten Premier League titles. Giggs has 95 Premier League goals to his name as well as being the league leader in assists, with 227. At the age of 34 he is still an important part of Alex Ferguson’s squad at Old Trafford.

4) Sol Campbell – Appearances: 461.
Clubs: Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Portsmouth.

Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell, better known as “Sol”, is no stranger to controversy. He famously crossed the North London divide with a high profile move to Arsenal, which led Spurs fans to label him “Judas” and in the 2005/06 season, he went AWOL for several days due to personal issues, the club having no idea of his whereabouts. That said, he remains a solid centre half with 73 England caps and two Premier League winners medals, playing an instrumental role at the heart of the Pompey defence.

5) Alan Shearer – Appearances: 441.
Clubs: Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle.

With 260 Premier League goals, Shearer is the highest scoring player in the league’s history and remains seventh in the list of top scorers for the English national team, with 30 goals from 63 caps. His £15 million move to Newcastle, the club he supported as a boy, was a world record at the time. Now retired, he is prominent in the media, working as a pundit for the BBC.

No comments: