Sunday, February 14, 2016

14 February 2009 - James Breaks The Speed Record

On 14 February 2009, Portsmouth goalkeeper David James made his then-record 536th Premier League appearance in a 2-0 win over Manchester City.

James started his career in 1989 with Watford, who were then in the Second Division. After three seasons there, he moved to the Premier League in 1992, signing with Liverpool for £1.25 million. He had a rough start at Anfield and was dropped from the starting line-up in his second season after the Reds conceded 20 goals in their first 11 matches. But he regained the starting job the following season and stayed there through the 1998-99 season, making 194 league appearances.

He then moved to Aston Villa (1999-2001) and West Ham (2001-04). West Ham were relegated for the 2003-04 season, breaking James's streak of top-flight appearances at 325. But he moved back to the Premiership in January 2004, transferring to Manchester City.

In August 2006, after three seasons with City, James moved again, this time to Portsmouth. In his first year there, he kept a record 142nd Premier League clean sheet, beating the earlier record set by David Seaman. Then, after winning the 2008 FA Cup with Pompey, he made his record appearance, beating the former record held by Welsh midfielder Gary Speed.

James left Portsmouth in July 2010 for Bristol City, who play in England's second tier, the Championship. That ended his run of Premier League appearances, which currently stands at 572. Since then, that number has been bettered by Ryan Giggs (632), Frank Lampard (609), and Gareth Barry (585), leaving James in fourth on the Premier League appearances list. 

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