Taking one of the better leafs out of the American side of things, the Premier League have introduced a new Hall of Fame, and the first inductees are Premier League record goal scorer Alan Shearer and four-time Premier League Golden Boot winner Thierry Henry.
With almost 30 years worth of history to draw from, there was never going to be a shortage of players queuing up to be inducted into the new Premier League Hall of Fame, but few would argue with record goal scorer Alan Shearer and four-time Premier League Golden Boot winner Thierry Henry as the first to be inducted. The Hall of Fame has been introduced to recognise and celebrate the exceptional skill and talent of individuals who have graced the Premier League since its inception in 1992, and it now exists as the highest individual honour awarded to players by the League.
First up, Shearer has been inducted as the League’s record goal scorer, having netted 260 goals across 14 Premier League seasons. The striker was the first player to reach a century of Premier League goals, scoring 112 times in just 138 matches for Blackburn Rovers, as well as winning the Premier League title with them in the 1994/95 season.
Following a world-record transfer to hometown club Newcastle United in 1996, Shearer scored 148 goals in 303 Premier League matches across a 10-season spell for the Magpies. He is a three-time Golden Boot winner and remains the only player to have reached 100 Premier League goals for two different clubs.
Speaking of his induction into the Premier League Hall of Fame, 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.”
Then there’s the inimitable Thierry Henry. The Frenchman won the Premier League’s Golden Boot award a record four times and scored a club record 175 Premier League goals in 258 appearances for Arsenal. He netted more than 20 Premier League goals in five consecutive seasons between 2001 and 2006.
Following his move to Arsenal in 1999, Henry won the Premier League title twice and was a key member of the ‘Invincibles’ team which went unbeaten during the 2003/04 title-winning season. Along with his scoring prowess, Henry contributed 74 assists during eight Premier League seasons, including a joint-record 20 in 2002/03.
Henry said: “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.”
Shearer and Henry will feature in a special television programme, which will be broadcast at 6pm (UK time) this evening on Sky Sports Premier League, Premier League digital channels and around the world via the Premier League’s international broadcast partners. Kelly Cates will interview the two icons as they look back on their Premier League careers, with some special guests also making an appearance.
A shortlist of 23 additional nominees eligible to join the Premier League Hall of Fame in 2021 will be announced during the show, with fans invited to cast their vote from 7pm and help select the remaining six inductees to the 2021 Premier League Hall of Fame.