The Everton skipper is now closing in on 700 career appearances in total and although he turns 36 next month, he still feels he can offer something to the side. Neville, who won plaudits for managing to return from a serious knee injury three weeks ahead of schedule when he faced West Ham last weekend, said:
“The win against Wigan was more important but the 500 appearances is something I have been aiming for for the last couple of seasons. I knew it would probably come this season and I have been striving for it, trying to keep myself fit.
“When it came I thought ‘dear me, I am getting old’. When you get to my age, these landmarks keep coming – my next aim is to get another 14 games to get to 700 career appearances.”
“The pleasing thing is that I have still got the hunger and desire to play on for two or three seasons. I want to play in every game and as long as I retain that hunger I will be happy. I want to train every day, I want to play every game and I want to play my part.
“When you get to 35, and I am 36 next month, the key bits are: one, your fitness and how your body feels – my body feels good, and two, can you still make a contribution to the team – and I think that I am contributing.
“The minute that stops or my body starts wailing I will have to look at myself in the mirror.”