Former England captain David Beckham is the surprise pick as the Premier League Hall of Fame’s eighth inductee – edging out Paul Scholes, John Terry and Patrick Vieira
- David Beckham has been inducted into the Premier League’s Hall of Fame
- There was surprise that Beckham beat some historical greats to be inducted
- Patrick Vieira, John Terry and Paul Scholes all found themselves overlooked
- Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was enrolled earlier on Thursday
- Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard and Dennis Bergkamp were the first six retired professionals to be inducted
David Beckham has become the eighth player inducted into the Premier League’s Hall of Fame.
Few expected the former Manchester United and England winger to earn one of the six spots from the shortlist of 23 but he has edged out Paul Scholes, Peter Schmeichel and Rio Ferdinand to be the club’s third representative.
‘It’s an honour to be inducted into the inaugural Premier League Hall of Fame alongside these legends of the game and league,’ Beckham told the Premier League following his selection.
David Beckham was the surprise selection as the eighth Premier League Hall of Fame inductee
Beckham (centre, back) won his first league title with Manchester United back in 1996-97
Beckham’s inclusion sees Paul Scholes (left) and John Terry (right) overlooked in the top eight
‘The Premier League was such an important part of my career and life and I’m delighted to be recognised alongside these icons who I played with, competed with and looked up to.
‘This is made even more of an honour for me knowing that it was down to the fans.
‘This past year or so has shown just how important fans are to the game and it’s so great to see them slowly being able to come back to stadiums because they make football truly special.
Premier League honours continued as he lifted six league titles in eight seasons at United
Beckham enjoyed great success at United playing under legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson
‘I’ve always said that throughout my playing career and beyond, I’m so lucky to have incredible fans who support me no end so thank you to everyone who voted.’
Beckham was keen to stress the importance of Sir Alex Ferguson to his success in English football.
The legendary Scot often clashed with Beckham but the former winger only has words of praise for his old boss.
‘The sense of community and family that Sir Alex ensured we all felt was so important,’ Beckham added.
‘I was lucky to be in a team that I had supported since I was a boy and with a group of players who I had played with for such a long period of time.
‘That made us all so much closer as a team. We all fought for each other on the pitch every second. Sir Alex was an incredible manager and there’s no way we would have been able to achieve what we did without him. He will always be an inspiration to me.’
Beckham was flashy out wide for United and established himself as a star on and off the pitch
HALL OF FAME SO FAR
Beckham accrued 265 Premier League appearances before he left Old Trafford for Real Madrid in 2003.
The 46-year-old’s English top flight record saw him win six league titles, scoring 62 goals and adding 80 assists in the process.
Beckham quickly made a name for himself in the Premier League having come through with the Class of ’92 group at United.
On the opening weekend of the 1996-97 season, Beckham sensationally scored from inside his own half against Wimbledon.
Speaking on that goal, Beckham said: ‘That Wimbledon goal from the halfway line was an amazing moment.
‘Looking back now and seeing photos of it where you can see my mum and dad behind the goal celebrating, that makes it even more special.
‘It was a great strike and I’m lucky it went in otherwise I’m sure the manager would have had something to say about it!’
In eight seasons he went on to win six titles as Sir Alex Ferguson’s United dominated English football.
Beckham (seen with the 2000-01 title) described being a Hall of Fame inductee as an ‘honour’
Only eight players have beaten Beckham’s total of 80 league assists, while just three have managed to go beyond his combined tally of 142 goal involvements in the top flight.
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were the inaugural members of the newly established Hall of Fame, with Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard and Dennis Bergkamp being added earlier this week.
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was the seventh addition having earned his spot from a 23-man shortlist to receive the most combined votes from a Premier League panel.
Each inductee receives a personalised medallion, engraved with the year of their induction.
To be eligible for the Premier League Hall of Fame this year, players had to have been retired as of August 1 2020, and only a player’s Premier League career is considered in their candidacy.
Every inductee receives a personalised medallion for being selected in the Hall of Fame