Who Are The Longest Serving Premier League Players?
Most football fans are well aware of the phenomenal record compiled by Ryan Giggs. His own longevity and the timing of his career means that he is alone as the only man to have appeared in every Premier League campaign since 1992 - and at just one club.
But who comes after Giggs who astonishingly signed for United in 1990?
A few summers ago we looked at this in some detail on Squarefootball, producing a short article on the longest servers at each club. At the time some other old stalwarts like Jason Dodd of Southampton were still active but as the new Team GB captain stands alone now, it's worth taking a look at who follows him now.
Several players have long top flight careers - Brad Friedel and Shay Given for instance. But these two durable keepers have been at several clubs since they both started out in the mid-1990s. Few players who turned pro in the 1990s have stayed with just one team.
The first name in the frame is a keeper but a surprising one. We highlighted him back in 2007 and he's still the longest serving player at his club, although they've had a season outside the Premier League since. Steve Harper is still on the books at Newcastle United having signed for them way back in 1993.
His story is one of old-fashioned club loyalty. The Easington-born keeper has found his way to the No 1 jersey barred by a succession of top performers - most notably Shay Given and the precocious Tim Krul. When Given finally left St James' it seemed Harper's time had come but he's slipped into a reserve role again. Some judges belive Harper would have been capped by England if he's been a regular at his club.
Also starting out as a professional in 1993 was Paul Scholes though he didn't make his debut that year. He's been in retirement but returned to the ranks and will be in the squad again for 2012-13 alongside Giggs. If they are paired together in central midfield their combined age would be 75!
Next up are three players who were with Scholes in the England squad at Euro 2004. First there's Jamie Carragher who signed pro forms for Liverpool way back in summer of 1994. At 34, the defender has at least one more Anfield campaign in him - possibly two.
Another central defender at Euro 2004 was John Terry who has been part of the first team picture at Chelsea since 1997. A third centre back at that tournament was Ledley King, who has been at Spurs since 1998 but unless AVB decides to give King another chance his career at the Lane is over.
Steven Gerrard was in the heart of midfield in Portugal and he's been in the professional ranks at Anfield since 1998, though he's only two years younger than Jamie Carragher. Jussi Jaskalainen had been at Bolton Wanderers since 1997 but this summer he moved to West Ham as his former club dipped out of the Premier League.