Gareth Barry announces retirement from football after leaving West Brom aged 39

Former Aston Villa, Manchester City and England midfielder Gareth Barry has announced his retirement from football at the age of 39.

Barry helped West Brom return to the Premier League last season as they finished runners-up in the Championship.

He holds the record for most appearances in the Premier League but will not be adding to his remarkable tally of 653 having hung up his boots.

Barry surpassed Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs' record of 632 in spells at Villa, Manchester City, Everton and West Brom.

He was also capped 53 times by England having started his career at Villa, spending 12 years there before a £12m switch to Manchester City in 2009.

His former clubs were quick to pay tribute to the midfielder with Aston Villa tweeting: “441 appearances, 52 goals and more than a decade of service at Villa Park.

“Wishing Gareth Barry all the best in his retirement, and congratulations on a wonderful career!”

While West Brom posted: “An extraordinary, record-breaking career. All the best in retirement, Gareth Barry.”

Barry is still in sport having been seen playing cricket for village side Temple Grafton, who are based in Warwickshire.

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He took three wickets in a recent defeat to Astwood Bank in the National Village Cup, failing to trouble the scorers with the bat.

Barry had played for Temple Grafto for the last couple of summers with his highest score with the bat currently 83.

He had previously said playing football until the age of 40 was possible but we won’t be seeing Barry in boots again.

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He had said: "It's definitely a possibility. I was 32 when I signed for Everton and Roberto Martinez said, 'Your style of game – you can play until you're 40'.

"I'm sitting there laughing at him, but he was deadly serious, and I still laughed. It's still going to be tough, but for a manager to tell me that four to five years ago is a good compliment, which was nice to hear.”

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