Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry have become the first stars inducted into the all-new Premier League Hall of Fame.
League officials first revealed plans to create a Hall of Fame in early 2020 but plans were put on hold because of the COVID-19 outbreak, with things only getting started again earlier this month.
Kicking things off with a bang, the Premier League have confirmed on their official website that Shearer and Henry, two of the game's greatest ever forwards, have been unveiled as the first two icons to earn a spot in the Hall of Fame.
"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, whose 260 goals have him at the top of the Premier League scoring charts. "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.”
Shearer was joined in the Hall of Fame by two-time Premier League champion and Arsenal legend Henry, who racked up 175 goals and 83 assists in just 258 appearances in the competition.
“To be inducted alongside Alan Shearer as the two first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame is more than special," said the Frenchman.
“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.”
Alongside Shearer and Henry, a shortlist of 23 other nominees eligible to be inducted in the Class of 2021 will soon be revealed, with fans invited to vote on which six will earn a spot in this year's Hall of Fame.