West Brom signing Gareth Barry has paid tribute to Everton fans after yesterday’s departure.

Barry needs to make just five more appearances to overhaul Ryan Giggs’ all-time Premier League record and has moved back to the West Midlands – having spent 11 years with Aston Villa between 1998-2009 – in search of more regular playing time.

He said: “I’ve had four great years at Everton. The fans have been brilliant with me from the day I signed until the day I left. I’m proud that the club will always be a big part of my career.

“There are too many people to thank but I’d like to mention a few of them – the Chairman, Bill Kenwright, Roberto Martinez who brought me to Goodison, Ronald Koeman whom I’ve enjoyed working with, the staff at the club and some great team-mates. And of course the fans.

“I look forward to seeing you all again.”

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