Chris Gunter has tonight become Wales’ most capped player of all time, making his 93rd appearance for his country in a friendly against Albania, captaining the side for the second time as well. The right-back levelled Neville Southall’s record by coming on as a substitute in Wales’ 2-1 defeat to Denmark in the UEFA Nations League on Friday night, but he now has the top spot to himself, 11 and a half years after making his debut aged 17 against New Zealand.
Gunter’s international career has seen him become an ever present in defence under four different permanent managers. Between August 2011 and May 2018, the 29-year-old featured in a staggering 63 consecutive games for Wales. This included playing every single minute of the nation’s historic run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, missing his brother’s wedding in the process.
In November 2017, Gunter was named Welsh Footballer of the Year, ending Gareth Bale’s four year run of success. The following month, he captained the team for the first time against Panama in a game in which he became the joint most capped outfield player of all time.
To achieve such a record at still a (relatively) young age is testament to Gunter’s dedication and commitment not just to Wales but to Reading too, no other player in the current Royals team has more appearances for the club than him. 64 of his international caps have come whilst he has been on the books at the Madejski Stadium.
Speaking ahead of the game with Albania, Gunter said:
“It’s something that people have been asking me about for quite a while.
“It’s been an unbelievable ride, especially over the past couple of years when I’ve been equalling and surpassing certain names that I used to come and watch as a boy.
“It’s hard to explain, from a personal point of view, what that means, and the fans, in terms of the reaction I’ve been getting over the past couple of years. It’s hard to put into words.
“For something you get so much joy from doing and that’s such an honour, it shows that you almost don’t deserve the support.”