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A look back at Leighton Baines’ 400 games for Everton

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Veteran left back has been a mainstay for the Blues over the years

Everton v Watford - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

In his twelfth year on Merseyside, Leighton Baines remains one of the Everton fan favourites even though his stellar career is slowly winding to an end. Monday night against Newcastle, the Goodison Park faithful got a chance to show the veteran their appreciation as he marked his 400th appearance for the Toffees in all competitions.

Here’s a quick summary of some the numbers from his tenure at Everton:

  • Transferred from Wigan Athletic in August 2007 for £6 million
  • Played under five different Everton managers - David Moyes, Roberto Martinez, David Unsworth, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce
  • 400 games played, 379 starts and 21 substitute appearances
  • Scored 38 goals and 65 assists, including 26 penalties out of 29 taken
  • Featured in 331 Premier League games, starting 315 times, 29 goals and 57 assists
  • Everton average 1.53 points per Premier League game with Baines in the XI
  • Baines has picked up 34 Premier League cautions, but has never been sent off
  • He has 30 England senior caps, with 1 goal scored
Watford v Everton - Premier League, April 9, 2016
Everton fans hold a banner supporting Leighton Baines
Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

The Kirkby-born player was a Liverpool fan as a child before committing to the Toffees as a teenager, but has always been considered a Blue by the fans. This was never more visible than late on in Martinez’s tenure when the Spaniard rebuked Baines for criticizing the lack of team chemistry, and fans unfurled the huge banner shown above, at an away game no less.

Speaking to evertonfc.com after being presented with a plaque for reaching the 400-game milestone, Baines attributed is longevity to two key factors -

“Part of it comes down to lifestyle, the way you live and the things you do. There’s luck involved as well and you’re going to get some injuries but I’ve never had any major setbacks at crucial times.

“I suppose I’ve been lucky also with the fact I’ve had managers who have believed in me and given me the opportunity to play, and through good and bad times they persisted with me.

“A lot of it comes down to things like that - timing and luck.”

Baines is third on the list of Evertonians with the most Premier League appearances, his 331 behind Tim Howard - 354 and Leon Osman - 352. Unlike the other two though, he plans on getting his coaching badges whenever he hangs up his boots.

The 33-year-old’s current deal with the Blues runs through till the end of the 2018-19 season, but with age slowing down his legs, it’s very unlikely he stays on with Everton unless in a backup capacity.

Everton is renowned throughout the country for the stellar work done in the community, and Baines has played his part as ambassador very well, working with numerous different charities, from children’s hospitals and graffiti workshops, to mental health initiatives and other local social causes.

Away from the pitch, Baines is an intensely shy introvert who tends to stay out of the media limelight. He loves reading and music, is a decent guitar player in his own right and a good friend of musician Miles Kane. The soft-spoken but easily excitable Baines is happily married to Rachel and a father of three children, and can be seen on his days off walking around the streets of Liverpool with his collar pulled up high, dabbling in his latest hobby of photography.

And finally, it would be remiss of us to carry a piece on Baines without showing you all his different hairstyles over the years.