Dean Lewington has put pen to paper on a new contract, which will extend his affiliation with MK Dons into an 18th season.
Lewington, 36, is enjoying another excellent season at Stadium MK and currently leads the team in appearances, as well the division in passes completed.
The Club captain, who is in line to make his 800th appearance for MK Dons this weekend at Burton Albion, is the EFL’s current longest-serving player and ranks fifth all-time in post-war English football history for league games played for one team.
“I’m obviously very pleased,” Lewington told iFollow MK Dons after putting pen to paper. “It’s been a successful season for me, personally, with the number of appearances I’ve made and the way I’m feeling so I’m very happy to be able to continue doing it.
“It’s been a real joy playing for Russ and Luke for the last 18 months. We have a really strong identity once again - we’re playing the right way and it’s a way that allows us to score some fantastic goals and helps develop players that we hope can take to next level.
“We’ve learnt a lot from this season and we’re improving all the time. We’re looking forward to the remaining games and then onto next season as well – hopefully with the fans back!
“I would love to be able to play every game again but I’m well aware that I am not going to be able to go on forever. I’ll just continue to do everything I can to work hard for the team – whether that’s playing on the pitch or helping my teammates off of it.”
A Wimbledon Academy product, Lewington made the move to Milton Keynes in 2003 and was a member of the inaugural MK Dons side in 2004/05. The ever-green number 3 has been a regular starter ever since, helping the Dons achieve three promotions, one EFL Trophy triumph and four play-off finishes.
The first promotion, from League Two in 2007/08, saw Lewington play 53 times in all competitions, including a successful appearance at Wembley Stadium in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final – the Club’s first ever trophy.
Lewington averaged 49 appearances per season in the next six campaigns before playing 49 games in 2014/15 as MK Dons secured their first promotion to the Championship. The captain scored twice on the final day, as the Dons clinched a top-two finish with a 5-1 win over Yeovil Town.
Despite managerial changes, and a shift in fortunes, in the years that followed, the 35-year-old has remained skipper throughout and in 2018/19, he led the Club to their third-ever promotion – featuring 49 times as MK Dons returned to League One at the first time of asking.
Manager Russell Martin said: “I’m sure Dean will admit, we’re all surprised that he has played as much as he has done this season, but that just shows how consistent he has been – it’s a credit to his footballing intelligence and how much work he puts in.
“He continues to be a great example for our younger players, with how he trains and plays but, also, he’s performing really well on the pitch and deserves his place in the team.
“We know we can rely on him every single day of the week and he’s someone I know everybody at this Football Club appreciates. He deserves this new deal and we’re all delighted that he will remain an MK Dons player beyond this season.”