Gareth Barry eclipses Ryan Giggs' Premier League appearance record

Gareth Barry set a new Premier League appearance record after starting for West Bromwich Albion in the 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Monday night -- his 633rd appearance.

Barry, 36, eclipsed the 632-game record set by Ryan Giggs, having made his top-flight debut in 1998.

He had equalled Giggs' record against West Ham, where he made his 600th start in the division -- 29 ahead of his nearest rival, David James.

Monday's game was a typically unfussy performance from Barry, who had wanted little fanfare surrounding his achievement, although in a nice touch Baggies boss Tony Pulis named him captain for the night.

"It was something different this week, having a lot of media attention," he told the BBC. "It will be nice to put this milestone to bed. I've not really given it too much thought about who is behind me. There is so much concentration on what you are doing."

One particularly classy moment stood out, though. A perfect Barry through-ball sent Jay Rodriguez running through on the Arsenal goal and he should have been awarded a penalty when he was brought down by Shkodran Mustafi.

"Gareth has been a wonderful professional and still is," Pulis said. "We hope he keeps performing like that until the end of the season."

Speaking to the West Brom programme before the West Ham game, Barry had said: "The idea of being the first player to start 600 Premier League games and equal Ryan Giggs' Premier League appearance record is hard to take in.

"You don't really think about these milestones when you're playing, you just look to keep playing well every week, do a job for your club and stay in the team.

"Naturally I'm very proud to achieve those things today, but hopefully I can keep clocking up the games for a while yet.

"I think there's gas in the tank yet. While I can still perform at that level and enjoy it all, I'll keep on doing it."

Barry said he had been sent a video message by Manchester United legend Giggs ahead of Monday's match.

"I've done an interview with Phil Neville and he passed a message on from Ryan Giggs through the iPad, just congratulating me," he said.

"It's lovely to hear from him, passing the Premier League record over. I'm aware he played in the old First Division before and collected a few more appearances than the 633.

"I'm also aware the Premier League started in 1992, 25 years ago, and records existed before that too.

"I'm not here to say I'm top of the tree in English football history -- I'm aware of that. But I'll try and get past Ryan's Football League appearances [which took his total to 672]."

Barry also revealed that Arsenal tried to sign him twice, but that moves to London "never materialised."

Barry made 365 appearances for Aston Villa after making his debut as a second-half substitute in a 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday in May 1998, before playing 132 times in the top flight for Manchester City.

He featured 131 times for Everton and has so far played five games for West Brom after signing for around £800,000 in the summer. He also won the title with Manchester City in 2012 and earned 53 England caps.

Between November 2004 and August 2010, he went on a run of 207 appearances without being a substitute.