Today, the Premier League announced that they are launching their very own Hall of Fame for players.
To be in contention for a place, the player must have retired and only their Premier League career will be considered – meaning achievement in European competition or while playing in the lower leagues will not count.
We already have an ‘English Football Hall of Fame’ which is housed at the National Football Museum in Manchester – that has existed since 2002 and will remain separate.
The first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame are set to be announced next month and fans have been speculating as to who it might be.
We’ve had some more logical suggestions such as Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright, but we’ve had a fair share of slightly more tongue in cheek suggestions – Jesse Lingard was even mentioned…
Here are the two players I think should take the inaugural nominations:
Premier League Hall of Fame inductee number one – Alan Shearer
To anyone who knows me or has read my work in the past, this will not be even slightly surprising. Alan Shearer is the Premier League all time leading goalscorer with 260 Premier League goals, miles ahead of second placed Wayne Rooney who has 208.
In terms of honours, Shearer won the Premier League once during his career, as the leading man in the famous 1994-95 Blackburn Rovers team. On a personal level, he won the Premier League Golden Boot award three times – with all three coming back-to-back between 1994 and 1997.
Shearer also won the Premier League’s player of the season award once, also in the 1994-95 season. His record of 34 goals in a single season has still never been bettered by anyone – although that was achieved in a 42 game season, Liverpool’s Mo Salah holds the record at 32 in a 38 game season.
As a result of all of that, he absolutely has to be the first name on the ballot to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Shearer spent the majority of his career with his boyhood club, Newcastle United – choosing his loyalty to his team over a guarantee of trophies at Manchester United.
As a Newcastle native myself and a born and bred member of the Toon Army, Shearer is my hero – as he is for every single lad of my generation from Newcastle. The choice that he made to bring himself back home sums up the attitude of the Geordie nation for their team, and I think it makes his achievements all the more special.
To score 260 Premier League goals, setting all kinds of other records in the process, having spent ten years of his career at his boyhood club is all kinds of special. For that reason, the Premier League can’t look past Alan Shearer as the first inductee of the Hall of Fame.
Premier League Hall of Fame inductee two – Thierry Henry
This second choice was really difficult for me. I thought about the likes of Ryan Giggs, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and came very close to selecting Vincent Kompany, but in the end I decided that Thierry Henry should be the man to join Alan Shearer as one of the two inaugural Premier League HoF inductees.
Henry, who spent his entire Premier League career with Arsenal, is sixth on the all time scorers list with 175 goals for the Gunners. He was a pivotal member of the famous Arsenal invincible team and won the Premier League twice.
On a personal level, he picked up the Premier League Golden boot award an impressive four times over the course of his time in England. Incredibly, three of those Golden Boot wins were back-to-back (03/04, 04/05 and 05/06).
As well as those Golden Boot awards, he appeared in the PFA Premier League team of the year on six occasions, and he won the Premier League Player of The Year twice – including in the Invincible season.
Henry was named in the Premier League ‘Greatest Team’ that marked the first 20 years of the Premier League’s existence. He even once won the Premier League’s top assist-provider award during the 2002-03 season, during which he also won the Golden Boot.
That assist-provider award is perhaps one of the most incredible of all, especially given that his 20 assists from that season is a Premier League record that still stands, even to this day.
Considering Henry wasn’t a playmaker and his primary job was to score goals, this record is so understated – especially when you find out that all 20 assists were from open play…
As I’m sure most would agree, watching Thierry Henry play football was an absolute pleasure. The way he could glide past a man with ease, find new and brilliant ways to beat a keeper and even play delightful no-look passes – he genuinely was a sight to behold.
In my personal opinion, while I’m of the obvious opinion that Alan Shearer is the greatest goal-getter or out-and-out striker in the history of the Premier League, for me, Thierry Henry is the best all around player the Premier League has ever seen – and that’s why he should be alongside Shearer as one of the first two HoF inductees.
What do you think, who should be given the honour of being the first inductee into the Premier League Hall of Fame? Let us know on our Twitter page. Meanwhile, for more content just like this, you can visit our dedicated football page right here.