Ben continues to rise in the list of all-time appearance makers at the Riverside, passing Franck Queudrue on 99, and he will move level with England manager our former Carling Cup-winning skipper Gareth Southgate in eighth place if he makes his 101st appearance against Bristol City on Saturday.

Of the current group, George Friend and Grant Leadbitter are both in the top five. George has made 114 and Grant 117. Grant, in fourth in the all-time list, is three behind Robbie Mustoe, who clocked 120 during his time on Teesside.

They all have some way to go to catch Stewy Downing though. With 174 Riverside appearances Stewy is in second place, although even our homegrown midfielder admits that the all-time leading appearance maker Mark Schwarzer (221) will take some catching.

Mark Schwarzer has made more Riverside appearances than any other player

In other milestones, Jonny Howson made the 350th league start of his career at Bramall Lane in midweek and George Friend his 199th league start for Boro. Tuesday saw Fabio move within one of his half-century in a Boro shirt.

With his goal against Nottingham Forest last Saturday, Dani Ayala has now scored 9 goals at the Riverside in Boro colours - the same as Tuncay, Alen Boksic and Jan-Aage Fjortoft - and is the highest-scoring defender in the stadium's history.

Leadbitter has scored 16 at our home, Downing 17, while Patrick Bamford is up in joint sixth in the all-time list, tied with Mikkel Beck, Hamilton Ricard and Massimo Maccarone on 20.