Danny Wilson says he is proud and privileged to have reached 1,000 games in football management.
The 54-year-old Lancastrian, in his second spell at Barnsley, celebrates the landmark today when Leyton Orient visit Oakwell.
The former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder, who won the League Cup twice as a player, took charge of his first game as a manager in August 1994.
He led Barnsley to a sixth-place finish in Division One that season and two years later took them into the Premier League.
Wilson left for Wednesday after failing to keep Barnsley in the top flight, and managed five more clubs – including Sheffield United – before returning to Oakwell exactly a year ago.
“It’s a great priviledge from my point of view and it’s come round very quickly,” said Wilson.
“I didn’t expect to get to a thousand games at this age, but I’m very proud to have accumulated that many.
“It’s down to the people who have given me great support and have shown faith and belief in me over a period of time, and for that I’m eternally grateful.
“It’s a great milestone from a personal point of view.”
Asked for his greatest achievement, Wilson did not immediatley point to his steering of unfancied Barnsley into the Premier League back in 1996-97.
“Everybody will expect me to say something that’s quite obvious with Barnsley getting promoted, but I’ve had some very good times at clubs and I can honestly say I’ve never left a club with bad feeling or in a bad position,” said Wilson, who has won 401 of his 999 games.
“As a coaching staff we’ve always tried to conduct ourselves in the correct, respectful manner.
“The fans are important to us and are a driving force.”
On the Reds’ famous promotion year, Wilson reflected: “It was a terrific effort by everyone involved at the club, particularly the fans; they were driving us home in the latter stages and it was a great place to be.”
Wilson becomes the 24th manager to reach 1,000 games, but fears in a sport now driven by finances, such longevity will become rarer in the future.
“The word patience is long gone,” he said. “It’s certainly a result and financial industry nowadays.
“It’s on a game-to-game basis nowadays, whereas before there was more understanding and longevity.
“The ambition is still there for me and burning very brightly at the moment.”