Captain Dean Lewington will make his 500th appearance for MK Dons on Saturday when Karl Robinson’s side travel to Rotherham United.
A Wimbledon trainee, Lewington started in a Stuart Murdoch-led Dons side which drew 1-1 with Barnsley in the Club’s first-ever competitive fixture back in 2004 and since then the dominant left-back has, incredibly, missed just 45 games over 10 seasons.
Lewington will become the first Dons player to join the 500 club.
“It’s come up as a bit of a surprise,” Lewington told MK Dons Player. “The last few weeks people have been saying that it’s getting closer and someone, recently, pointed it out to me in the programme.
“It makes you look back and realise how long you’ve been playing. I’ve been very lucky, I was put in the team at a relatively young age and since then I’ve been lucky with injuries and obviously been lucky that managers have liked me, which helps as well!
“It’s quite a big achievement especially, coming before I turn 30, but it’ll just be another game. It’s obviously nice when these milestones come around but it’s not something you set out to achieve or particularly look out for.”
Lewington has played close to a third of his games for the Dons while under the guidance of current boss Robinson, who paid tribute his reliable captain on MK Dons Player this week.
He added: “He’s somebody who nobody can say a bad word about with me. I often talk about the importance of putting our shirt on and I know every time he looks at our badge it means something to him.
“A captain stands for bravery, it stands for attitude and it’s for the person that the fans look up to and he has all of these components in abundance. He’s somebody who I’ve got unbelievable respect for.
“He is your captain for the right reasons and let’s not forget, also, he’s probably the best left-back in the league.”
So after 499 games, ten seasons, four play-off heartaches, one relegation, one promotion and one Trophy success, what is Mr MK Dons’ favourite game?
“It’s probably Stockport (County) away. They were going for the play-offs and we were trying to win promotion.
“They took the lead and then we equalised within about 15 seconds and then that happened again for a second time. Keith then went through and chipped the goalkeeper to win the game and win promotion.
“It was the first time we’d had any real success and the first time we’d achieved anything. The game was so dramatic too and because it meant so much and it was the first step in creating everything that has come along after it.
“The Stockport game is definitely one I look back on with the happiest of memories.”