MATT HAYWOOD will make history tonight by becoming the first player to reach the 500-match milestone for Glasgow Clan.

The 28-year-old from Doncaster has been there and done it in eight and a half years since joining what was then Braeheadclan, and he’s now very much in with the bricks.

As he prepares to reach that eye-watering number of games, he sees no reason why he can’t go even as he reflected on his time with the club, admitting his pride at being the first to achieve it.

“It feels great to get there and it’s a huge honour to say you’ve been at a club and played for that number of games,” Haywood said. “It feels extra special because I’m the first one to do it, having been here from the start.

“I’ve grown with the club and it’s not only a special feeling, but quite humbling too when I saw the reaction to when I reached the 500 mark in the league all together a few weeks ago [Haywood had played five games for Sheffield Steelers prior to his move to Glasgow] so it’s a great milestone to hit.

“I’m seeing guys like Mark Richardson and Matthew Myers at Cardiff Devils get to 800 and 900, plus Jonathan Phillips at Sheffield will get to 1000 next season, so I see no reason why I can’t get to those sorts of milestones looking ahead.

“All I can do is try and stay healthy and look after myself. But it’s more than a club to me. I came as a 19-year-old trying to prove myself to becoming a married man with a young daughter. It’s not just a job. It’s given me a life, a new place I call home and I can’t thank anyone enough for what this club has done for me.”

Haywood’s 500th game in purple is expected to be at Milton Keynes Lightning tonight, and the club will make a presentation to mark the achievement in their next home game on Sunday at Braehead Arena against Guildford Flames, face-off 6pm.

Next year will mark his 10th season and a testimonial, but playing in 500 games is an achievement in itself.

And looking back, He recalled the opportunity afforded to him by then coach Bruce Richardson in 2010, revealing it could have been different if current coach, Pete Russell, had had his way when Haywood had a choice to make.

He added: “The chance of playing in the top league in the UK was the biggest pull in coming to Scotland for me and I always watched the Elite League so that was the bar I set for myself. When the opportunity came, I jumped at it and I’m thankful it was up here.

“I’d just came off a good season with Sheffield Scimitars in the old English Premier League and I’d played under Pete, who was GB’s Under-20 coach and the coach of Slough Jets at the time and I had enjoyed working with him.

“He liked the way I played and I knew if I’d gone to Slough, I would have played regularly, getting the chance to prove myself even more in that league. But I wanted to come up against the best players in the country so I took a chance and I don’t regret it one bit.”