Since the rebranding of the English First Division to the Premier League in 1992, some of the world’s best players have featured in England’s top tier. However, some players have appeared in the Premier League more than others. Here are the players who have made the most appearances in the Premier League era:
Gareth Barry (652 appearances for Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton and West Brom)
The former England midfielder started his youth career at Brighton before a controversial switch to Villa in 1997. Barry made his Premier League debut for Villa at the age of just 17 years 02 months 09 days in 1998.
Barry also represented Manchester City, where he won both the Premier League title and the FA Cup. He also spent four years at Everton in the English top flight and a season with West Brom before he suffered relegation to the Championship.
Ryan Giggs (632 appearances for Manchester United)
The Welshman was the ultimate one-club man during his professional playing career, as he played 632 Premier League games for Manchester United. However, it is often overlooked that he started his youth career with the Red Devils arch-rivals Manchester City.
During his long and illustrious career, the Welsh wing wizard won the Premier League on 13 occasions, scoring 109 goals and producing 162 assists in the process. That was among the numerous other achievements and honours throughout a trophy-laden career.
James Milner (619 appearances for Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool)
Milner came through the youth system at his hometown club Leeds United, where he made his Premier League debut at the age of just 16 years and 309 days. The highlights of the midfielder’s top-flight career were winning the title three times, twice with City in seasons 2011/12 and 2013/14 and in season 2019/20 with Liverpool.
During his Premier League career, Milner has scored 55 goals and produced 87 assists, which is a respectable tally for a player who was often asked to do defensive duties.
Frank Lampard (609 appearances for West Ham, Chelsea and Manchester City)
Lampard started his career at his boyhood favourites, West Ham, where he made his debut in January 1996. However, it was at London rivals Chelsea where he would establish himself as not just one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League but in the world.
The former England international spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge, where he scored the majority of his 177 Premier League goals. While at Chelsea, he also helped the Blues to three Premier League titles and also won the Player of the Season award in season 2004/05.
David James (572 appearances for Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City, and Portsmouth)
James started his career in the second tier of English football with Watford before his big break and a move to Premier League Liverpool in 1992. In his long career, he also enjoyed spells at Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth.
The goalkeeper won the FA Cup with Pompey in 2008, having also won the League Cup with Liverpool in 1995. The former England star was also named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Season in 1996 and 2008.
Gary Speed (535 appearances for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers)
Speed burst onto the Premier League scene in 1992 after helping Leeds to promotion from the then-Second Division. He went on to play for the club he supported as a boy, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton in the Premier League.
Speed had a respectable goal tally in the Premier League for a midfielder, having scored 80 goals while also producing 44 assists. The Welshman later went on to manage his home nation. Sadly, in November 2011, Speed passed away at his home in Cheshire at the age of just 42.
Emile Heskey (516 appearances for Leicester City, Liverpool, Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa)
The forward was well-travelled during his playing career, representing Leicester City, Liverpool, Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa in the Premier League. Despite being a foil for other more lauded forwards at times, Heskey scored 110 goals in the English top flight while also creating 53 goals for teammates.
Heskey won the League Cup with Leicester on two occasions, in 1997 and 2000, before winning the FA Cup with Liverpool in 2001.
Mark Schwarzer (514 appearances for Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea and Leicester)
The Australian first appeared in the Premier League with Middlesborough back in 1996, and his last appearance in the top flight came in 2015 for Leicester. Schwarzer kept 152 clean sheets in his 514 Premier League appearances while playing in the English top flight.
His biggest achievement in the English game was when he played for Middlesbrough when he helped the north east team win the League Cup in 2004.
During his time with Leicester, he became the oldest player to ever feature for the Foxes, making his final league appearance at the age of 43 years and 32 days.
Jamie Carragher (508 appearances for Liverpool)
The boyhood Everton fan became a stalwart in the Liverpool defence during his career. Carragher made his Premier League debut in 1996 and retired from the game in 2014, having enjoyed a long and illustrious career.
The defender’s biggest highlight came in 2005 when he helped Liverpool to win the Champions League while also winning the FA Cup twice in 2001 and 2006, as well as winning numerous other trophies with the Reds.
Phil Neville (505 appearances for Manchester United and Everton)
The former England international made his debut in the Premier League with Manchester United in 1994 before also enjoying a stint at Everton, where he went on to captain the Toffees.
During his career with United, Neville helped Manchester United to become Premier League champions on six occasions, as well as winning the Champions League in season 1998/99, among numerous other silverware during his time with his boyhood club.