Gareth Southgate pays tribute to record-breaking Gareth Barry
Gareth Barry received a tribute from England manager -- and former teammate -- Gareth Southgate after becoming the Premier League's all-time record appearance holder.
West Brom midfielder Barry made his 633rd appearance at Arsenal on Monday night, surpassing the mark set by former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs.
Barry was named Baggies captain for the night in recognition of the achievement.
And Three Lions boss Southgate, who played alongside Barry at Aston Villa, has sent his congratulations.
"Hi Gareth. I wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate you on an incredible achievement," said Southgate.
"I think back to watching for the first time as a young kid at Bodymoor Heath and realising straight away that I was in trouble for my place.
"Thankfully we played three at the back and you were able to play alongside me.
"I thoroughly enjoyed helping you in that early part of your career, being around when you first joined up with England, and you've gone on to incredible achievements, way beyond what I ever did as a player."
Barry made his debut for Villa at the age of 17, appearing as a substitute in a 3-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday on May 2, 1998.
He went on to play for Manchester City -- with whom he won the title in 2012 -- and Everton before joining West Brom on a free transfer this summer.
"It's been a great honour to watch you both winning titles with your club, and go on to over 50 caps with England, playing in the biggest of games," added Southgate.
"I wanted to congratulate you on a fantastic achievement. You've become a role model on being able to keep playing for so long at such a high level.
"You're now in the history books and deservedly so. You've been undervalued by many for the way that you've played.
"Congratulations, enjoy it, and I dare say there's a few more games in the bag yet."