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The 500 Club

11 February 2018

James Coppinger became the 99th player in EFL history to feature in 500 league games, Rover statisticians John Coyle and Brian Witherden present details about the 99 players.

  • The first player to play 500 games for one club was Robert (Bob) Crompton of Blackburn Rovers. Crompton made his debut for Rovers in the 1896-97 season at the age of 17. A full-back, he won 41 caps for England during a playing career that ran to 1919-20. His 500th appearance for Rovers came on 26th September 1914 (his 35th birthday) in their 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers at Ewood Park.
  • The second player to achieve this feat was the Scottish international winger Andy Wilson, who did so in the same season as Crompton, when he appeared for Sheffield Wednesday in their 0-0 draw with Burnley at Hillsborough on 24th March 1915. Wilson played only one further game for Wednesday, in season 1919-20 (after World War One).

  • The 98th player to play 500 League games for one club is Dean Lewington, who reached the milestone on 13th February 2016 playing for MK Dons in their Championship victory (1-0) at Derby County. Lewington is still an active player and as at 11th February 2018 he had made 559 League appearances for MK Dons.

  • The 99th player to play 500 League games for one club is James Coppinger, who reached the milestone on 10th February 2018 playing for Doncaster Rovers in their League One draw (1-1) at home to Charlton Athletic.

  • The player who has made most League appearances for a single club is John Trollope whose career with Swindon Town spanned 21 seasons. He played 770 League games for Town, beating the record previously held by Jimmy Dickinson of Portsmouth (764, from 1946 to 1964).

  • The only player to make 500 League appearances for one club and go on to make over 200 for another is Alan Oakes. Oakes played 564 League games for Manchester City between 1959 and 1975, and then moved to Chester, for whom he made 211 appearances from 1976 to 1981.

  • Of the 99 players, 79 were born in England, 11 in Scotland and six in Wales, while three were born overseas. These were Bernhard (Bert) Trautmann (Manchester City, born Bremen, Germany), Kevin Keelan (Norwich City, born Calcutta, now Kolkata, India) and Cyril (Ces) Podd (Bradford City, born Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis).Trautmann was brought to England as a prisoner of war during World War Two. 

  • Of the 99 players, 31 won full England caps. A further five were capped by Wales, four by Scotland and one each by Republic of Ireland (David O’Leary- Arsenal) and St. Kitts & Nevis (Ces Podd- Bradford City). The most international caps won by a member of the “500 Club” was 114 England caps by Steven Gerrard (Liverpool). The most caps won by a player for another country was the 92 Wales caps won by Neville Southall (Everton). 

  • Seven members of the “500 club” were members of the England squad which won the 1966 World Cup. Three played in the Final- Bobby Moore (West Ham United, Bobby Charlton (Manchester United) and Jack Charlton (Leeds United). The other squad members were Jimmy Armfield (Blackpool), Ian Callaghan (Liverpool), Norman Hunter (Leeds United) and Terry Paine (Southampton).

  • The League club with the greatest number of “500 Club” members in their ranks is Leeds United. Six players made over 500 appearances for United and five were members of the Leeds team which won the Football League Championship in both 1968-69 and 1973-74. The players concerned were Billy Bremner, Norman Hunter, Peter Lorimer, Paul Madeley and Paul Reaney, plus Jack Charlton who played in the 1968-69 team only.

  • West Ham United come second with four players with over 500 League games- Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Frank Lampard senior and Bobby Moore. Nine clubs have had three 500 club members- Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town, Liverpool, Manchester United, Sheffield United, Swansea City, Tranmere Rovers and West Bromwich Albion. 

  • Nearest miss? Paul Scholes made 499 (404 starts, 95 substitute) League appearances for Manchester United between 1992 and 2013.

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