A 'wonderful ambassador': the Hastings footballer whose name is etched in Premier League record book

Hastings' finest footballing son has called time on a fabulous career spanning 22 years and 833 games.

Friday, 28th August 2020, 3:30 pm
Updated Friday, 28th August 2020, 3:32 pm
Gareth Barry in action for Aston Villa, playing against Pompey in 2007

Gareth Barry, who was born and raised in the town, has retired from football at the age of 39. The defender-turned-midfielder is the Premier League's record appearance maker and won 53 senior England caps.

Barry was also part of the Manchester City team which won the Premier League title in 2012 and FA Cup a year previously.

One of six children, Barry played youth football for St Vincents and Spartan locally, and attended William Parker School (now Ark Alexandra Academy).

In fact, he helped William Parker win a national competition in 1997 in a team also featuring former Sussex and England cricketer Michael Yardy.

Barry also trained with Brighton & Hove Albion as a boy before joining Aston Villa, for whom he made his top-flight debut as a 17-year-old in May 1998.

He went on to make 365 Premier League appearances for Villa before making the move to Manchester City in 2009.

Barry played 132 times for City in the league and helped them clinch the top-flight title for the first time since 1968, as well as their first FA Cup since 1969.

He later played in 131 Premier League matches for Everton, who he initially joined on a season-long loan in 2013 before a permanent deal was agreed the following year.

In 2017, Barry joined West Bromwich Albion, for whom he made 25 top-flight appearances, taking his career tally to 653 - 21 more than previous record-holder Ryan Giggs.

Barry, who holds the Premier League record for yellow cards with 119, also played 27 times for West Brom in the Championship.

On the international stage, he featured in England's squad for Euro 2000 and the 2010 World Cup.

Barry scored three England goals, including the country's 2,000th, against Sweden in 2011. He captained his country against Egypt in 2010.

Although unsung and underrated by many, the quietly effective Barry was certainly appreciated by fans of the teams for whom he played.

A tremendous professional and a wonderful ambassador for the town, his contribution to the game will be long remembered.