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Saturday 13 September K.O. 15:00

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Baines Nears Ratcliffe Tally

Everton players showing remarkable endurance.

Baines Nears Ratcliffe Tally
Tim Howard
Sylvain Distin
Leighton Baines

He has won the Players’ Player of the Season Award two years in a row and given his remarkable appearance record it is easy to see why.

It has been well-documented how Leighton Baines remained an ever-present throughout the 2010/11 season, but if you take that sequence further back you’ll find that the left-back hasn’t missed a minute of Premier League action for 67 games now.

Baines last missed out when he was absent for the Blues’ trip to Bolton in October 2009, and has since racked up more than 100 hours of continuous Premier League action.

And should he carry that run on into next season then the defender could find himself closing in on the impressive tally of 75 successive matches, set by Kevin Ratcliffe between March 1986 and January 1988.

Baines was joined in starting every Premier League match this season by teammates Sylvain Distin and Tim Howard which represents the first time a trio of Blues had started every single match since the 1977/78 season.

Distin found himself third on the Premier League list of outfield players with most minutes on the pitch this term behind Baines and Martin Skrtel. Distin missed just 10 minutes following a late substitution against Aston Villa at Goodison.

Howard, meanwhile, has now played every match for three successive league seasons, although he is still behind Neville Southall who managed four between 1988/89 and 1991/92, inclusive.

The only other players to have been ever-present in three league campaigns are Brian Labone (1960/61, 1964/65 and 1968/69) and Gordon West (1968/69, 1969/70 and 1971/72).

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