Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry announced as the first two Premier League legends to be inducted into all-new Hall of Fame… as fans are asked to vote on SIX other icons to join them
- Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry are the Premier League’s ‘inaugural inductees’
- Newcastle and Arsenal legends take their place on the Hall of Fame this week
- Fans will now be asked to whittle 23-man shortlist down to six other inductees
- Shearer is league’s all-time top goalscorer while Henry won four Golden Boots
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry have become the first two Premier League legends to be inducted into the all-new Hall of Fame.
The Newcastle and Arsenal heroes, widely regarded as two of the best strikers ever to play in the English game, are the first to take up their place, with many more to join them in the coming months and years.
In announcing the news, the Premier League’s official account introduced the pair as: ‘Two centre-forwards, both gifted with natural skill and talent who have written their names in Premier League history.’
The first two inductees were teased on social media in a video last week, in which the likes of Jamie Carragher and Ian Wright reflecting on the players have given insight and clues as to who could be taking the honour.
One of the players was described as ‘lethal, unmarkable at times’ and a ‘devastating phenomenon’, while the other, according to former Liverpool man Jamie Carragher, was ‘an absolute nightmare to play against.’
The two ‘inaugural inductees’ will soon be joined by six other big names, who will be voted onto the Hall of Fame by fans over the next few weeks.
A special programme on Sky Sports tonight will announce the 23-man shortlist of candidates, before supporters have their say to whittle them down to six.
The likes of Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Eric Cantona are expected to be among the big names in the discussion.
Henry and Shearer, meanwhile, can rest assured in the knowledge that their place is set in stone, and they have received their personalised medallion, engraved with the year of their induction.
Speaking about his induction, the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer Shearer said: ‘When you look at some of the unbelievable players to have graced the Premier League – week in, week out, year in, year out – I feel very honoured to join the Hall of Fame.
‘I have to thank all of my team-mates, as well as the managers and coaches that I’ve worked with. All I ever wanted to be was a professional footballer.
‘It was my dream to do that, my dream to win trophies and my dream to score at St James’ Park, to wear the number nine black-and-white shirt and it was fantastic. I enjoyed every minute of it.’
Shearer was the first player to reach 100 Premier League goals, netting 112 times for Blackburn, before he secured a world-record transfer to his boyhood Newcastle in 1996.
From there, he netted another 148 goals in 303 matches over a 10-year spell, taking his total tally to 260 goals across 14 seasons.
Henry, meanwhile, won four Golden Boots in a 175-goal haul at Arsenal, in turn becoming the club’s all-time top goalscorer.
Upon hearing the news of his induction, the Frenchman noted: ‘To be inducted alongside Alan Shearer as the two first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame is more than special.
‘When I was young, I was just trying to make sure I could get a pair of boots and now we’re talking about the Hall of Fame. During my career I wanted to play hard and make sure I was fighting for the cause, because that’s all the fans want to see.
‘If you asked me at the start of my career about entering the Hall of Fame, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s an amazing honour.’
The Hall of Fame was initially scheduled to launch last year, but had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.