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Gareth Barry breaks Ryan Giggs’ Premier League appearance record

Gareth Barry broke Ryan Giggs’ Premier League appearance record when he captained West Brom against Arsenal on Monday.

The 36-year-old midfielder was made Baggies captain in honour of his 633rd Premier League appearance, surpassing the mark set by former Manchester United winger Giggs.

Barry, who drew level with Giggs when he played in West Brom’s goalless draw against West Ham last weekend, will also record his 601st start in the top flight.

“It’s obviously a nice moment,” Barry told Sky Sports ahead of the match.

“I’m very proud to reach this number but like anything I try to put it to the back of my mind and concentrate on the game of football.

Asked if the special moment would affect his performance, Barry said: “No I won’t be thinking about it at all, once we’re out there it’ll be the job as normal.”

Barry made his debut for Aston Villa at the age of 17, appearing as a substitute in a 3-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday on May 2, 1998.

His landmark appearance came against the Gunners, who twice tried to sign him during his long career.

Instead, Barry went on to play for Manchester City – with whom he won the title in 2012 – and Everton before joining West Brom on a free transfer this summer.

Now in his 21st season as a professional, Barry, who also has 53 England caps, this week admitted he could carry on playing until he is 40.

He also has his sights set on Giggs’ top-flight record of 672 appearances – the Welshman played 40 times in the old First Division before the Premier League was introduced.

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