Inside Blue Sat 28 Oct 2017
Stoke's Darren Fletcher has been praised after making his 100th consecutive Premier League appearance, but he still has a long way to go to match a Chelsea legend's record.
Reaching a century of uninterrupted games in the English top flight is obviously nothing to be sniffed at, meaning Fletcher's run with the Potters this season, plus the first 91 of those appearances at West Bromwich Albion, rightly deserve recognition, especially as it puts him comfortably ahead of any other current run.
However, he will probably need to keep it going for another two seasons if he is to challenge Frank Lampard's Premier League record for an outfield player, with our former midfielder making an incredible 164 consecutive appearances in the competition, all for the Blues.
Our number eight's run began on 13 October 2001, not long after he had joined Chelsea from West Ham United but already his eighth match for the club, coming off the bench to replace goalscorer Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in the 73rd minute of a 2-0 win over Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.
He then played in every single one of Chelsea's Premier League fixtures until the final week of 2005, meaning he became a title winner during that spell, with the last match of the run also seeing him find the net as he got our second goal of a 3-2 win over Fulham on Boxing Day.
The effects of a virus Lampard was suffering from then finally brought his run of consecutive appearances, forcing him to miss our 1-0 win over Manchester City two days later, but he did return in time to start our 2-0 victory over Birmingham City on New Year's Eve.
While Lampard holds the Premier League record, the honour of our overall record for consecutive appearances in all competitions dates back a little further, belonging to another legendary Blues midfielder, John Hollins, and standing at 167 games in total.
Amazingly, following the end of the 1970/71 season, when an injury suffered against Real Madrid in the drawn Cup Winners' Cup final saw him unable to compete in the triumphant replay in Athens two days later, Hollins then played in every single one of Chelsea's games for over three years, until he missed a 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in September 1974.
That obviously means this season's crop of Chelsea stars have their work cut out if they want to equal either of those club records, but the closest outfield player from any club to be challenging Fletcher's current run is doing so in a Blues shirt.
Cesar Azpilicueta is approaching two years without missing a Premier League game, having last sat out when being an unused substitute in a 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth on 5 December 2015, in the penultimate league game of Jose Mourinho's second spell as Chelsea manager. Since then he has featured in every single top-flight match under Antonio Conte so far, as well as caretaker bosses Steve Holland and Guus Hiddink, giving him a total of 70. Only 94 left to match Lampard's record Azpi!