Former England striker Alan Shearer and ex-France forward Thierry Henry have become the first players to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame is the highest individual honour awarded to players by the League and celebrates the talent and achievements of standout professionals who have featured in the division since its creation in 1992. To be eligible, players must have been retired as of August 1, 2020.
Former Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United striker Shearer still holds the record as the Premier League’s highest scorer with 260 goals in 441 appearances across 14 seasons winning league titles in 1995 with Blackburn Rovers.
Arsenal’s all-time top scorer Henry won two Premier League titles under Arsene Wenger and was part of the ‘Invincibles’ team that went unbeaten throughout the 2003/04 title-winning campaign.
He scored a club record 175 Premier League goals in 258 appearances for Arsenal netting more than 20 Premier League goals in five consecutive seasons between 2001/02 and 2005/06.
‘To be inducted alongside Alan Shearer as the two first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame is more than special,’ said Henry.
“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.’
Shearer, who won the title with Blackburn in 1995, is the Premier League’s record goalscorer, netting 260 goals in 14 seasons for Blackburn and Newcastle.
“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,’ said the former England captain.
“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’s Park, to wear the number nine black-and-white shirt and it was fantastic. I enjoyed every minute of it.’
The Premier League said the Hall of Fame ‘recognises and celebrates the exceptional skill and talent of individuals who have graced the Premier League since its inception in 1992’.
‘Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry are two world-class players who lit up the Premier League throughout their time in the competition,’ said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.
‘Both players were capable of scoring every kind of goal, including some of the best we have ever seen.’
A 23-man shortlist for six more inductees has also been announced.
Full 23-man shortlist for next six Hall of Fame inductees
Tony Adams, David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Sol Campbell, Eric Cantona, Andrew Cole, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba, Les Ferdinand, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Matt Le Tissier, Michael Owen, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic, Patrick Viera, Ian Wright.