Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry have been announced as the first two players inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Shearer is the competition’s all-time top-scorer, with 260 goals for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, his boyhood club.
Henry was a talisman for Arsenal during a successful period under Arsene Wenger, scoring 175 goals in 258 appearances.
They both dominated the scoring charts, winning the Premier League Golden Boot seven times between them.
‘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 Shearer.
‘I have to thank all of my teammates, 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 fired Blackburn to the Premier League title in 1995, before joining Newcastle for a then world-record fee of £15 million.
French striker Henry signed from Juventus in 1999, going on to win two titles, the second as part of Arsenal’s Invincibles team, who went a whole season without losing a single league game.
‘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.
‘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.’
A shortlist of 23 candidates for the Hall of Fame will be announced later this year, with six more players added at the end of a fan vote.
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