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Record breaker Barry hangs up his boots

London (AFP) – Gareth Barry who made a record 653 appearances in the Premier League retired on Thursday at the age of 39.

The former England international midfielder was released by newly-promoted Premier League side West Bromwich Albion at the end of the season having played just six times for them in the 2019/20 campaign.

Barry’s record looks set to last a long time with Liverpool’s James Milner having made the most appearances of those still playing — the 34-year-old turning out 534 times. 

“An extraordinary, record-breaking career All the best in retirement, Gareth Barry,” tweeted West Brom adding two applause icons and one heart.

Capped 53 times — including being in the Euro 2000 and the 2010 World Cup squads — he played for amongst others Aston Villa and Manchester City. 

He won the 2011 FA Cup and the 2012 Premier League title with City.

“Everyone at Manchester City wishes Gareth Barry all the best in his retirement!” tweeted City with two hands raised icon.

The official England team twitter account also wished Barry — who made his last appearance for the national side in 2012 — well.

“Wishing Gareth Barry, who won 53 caps for the #ThreeLions and scored three goals, all the very best in retirement! Congratulations on a fantastic career,” it tweeted with an applause icon.

Barry — whose record Premier League appearances is 21 more than that of second-placed Ryan Giggs — moved from City to Everton in 2014 before moving on to West Brom in 2017.

He only experienced relegation once from the Premier League in 2018 with West Brom.

In all Barry played 833 senior games, in a career spanning 23 years, scoring 67 goals.

Villa with whom he spent over a decade before his £12 million ($15.8 million) move to City in 2009 bade him a fond farewell.

“441 appearances, 52 goals and more than a decade of service at Villa Park,” Villa tweeted.

“Wishing Gareth Barry all the best in his retirement, and congratulations on a wonderful career!”

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