Dean Lewington is in line to make his 400th League appearance this Saturday when he leads out MK Dons against Bury at stadiummk.
On Saturday 5th April 2003 Lewington was introduced to professional football for the first time when he came off the bench at Hillsborough to see out the final minutes of Wimbledon’s 4-2 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
After making his debut for Wimbledon at the age of 18 Lewington went on to make a further 28 appearances before the Club became MK Dons, and since 2004 the left-back has never made fewer than 42 League appearances in a season.
As the big number approaches Lewington told the media: “It’s a nice milestone for me, it’s a lot of games but it is something that has kind of crept up on me, you don’t really notice numbers and then all of a sudden you get quite a big one.
“It’s a lot of games and it is nice that I have done it with one Club, it makes it a bit more special to know I have played all the games for one team.
“I didn’t think I would get anywhere near this milestone when I first joined the Club, when I first got into the team Stuart Murdoch said you weren’t a footballer until you have played 100 games. So after 100 I was relieved, but I never thought about a target beyond that.
“It’s a pretty good achievement to reach it before I am 30 years old. There have been ups and downs along the way but it’s been a little journey!”
In nine years there have certainly been ups and downs, especially through the Leagues, but what are the standout memories for the Dons skipper?
“The debut in anyone’s career is always special, along the way my favourite games and moments are probably the same as any other MK Dons fan – Edds’ goal on the last game of the season against Tranmere Rovers, getting promoted from League 2, beating Peterborough 2-1 in the year that we won promotion. Probably the same favourites as any MK Dons fan.”
Watch an exclusive interview with Dean talking about the milestone on MK Dons Player now!