England’s Premier League is often regarded as the most competitive football league in the world.
While numerous players and managers have had the privilege to compete in the top flight of English football, only a handful have managed to stand out, winning innumerable individual and club laurels.
So far, a total of 16 footballers and two managers have been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame, which is intended to recognise and honour players with immense success in the competition since 1992 - the year which saw the top-tier English league rebranded into the ‘Premier League’.
Premier League Hall of Fame
|2023||Sir Alex Ferguson|
Batch of 2021
Former Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United forward Alan Shearer alongside Arsenal legend Thierry Henry were the first two players to enter the Hall of Fame in April 2021.
Alan Shearer, who features on the list of most Premier League goals for a single club, is best known for his goal-scoring exploits throughout his 14-year stint in the Premier League. He is the leading scorer in the competition with 260 goals.
Thierry Henry, on the other hand, terrorised the opposition defences during his tenure with Arsenal. The Frenchman is still revered for his skill, athleticism, vision and lethal finishing.
He provided 20 assists in the 2002-03 season, the then record for most assists in a single EPL season, which was later equalled by Kevin de Bruyne in 2019-20.
Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard and Dennis Bergkamp earned their spots in the EPL Hall of Fame in May 2021.
While Eric Cantona and Roy Keane were at the forefront of Manchester United’s early dominance in the Premier League, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry spearheaded Arsenal’s ‘invincibles’ season in 2003-04, where they won the league without facing a single defeat. No other team has managed the feat in the history of English football.
Meanwhile, Frank Lampard played for Chelsea for the majority of his Premier League career, finishing as the club's top goal-scorer with 211 goals across all competitions.
Two of the top-notch midfielders of their generation, Manchester United’s David Beckham and Steven Gerrard of Liverpool, were the last of the eight Hall of Famers in 2021.
Batch of 2022
Former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira were the first two players to get their entry into the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 in March.
Among a plethora of significant individual moments, Wayne Rooney will be remembered for his stunning overhead kick scored against rivals Manchester City in a 2-1 win during the 2011-12 season.
An iconic Manchester derby goal from angles you've never seen before 🤩@WayneRooney | @ManUtd pic.twitter.com/JexGMV8CXV— Premier League (@premierleague) November 2, 2021
Known as a complete midfielder, Patrick Vieira became the third member of the ‘invincibles’ squad to enter the Hall of Fame.
Ian Wright, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, Didier Drogba, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero were added to the marquee list in April 2022.
Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero were the pioneers of Manchester City’s resurgence in the league in the last decade and helped The Cityzens bag their first-ever EPL title in the 2011-12 campaign.
Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and Paul Scholes were both a part of the phenomenal Manchester United side in the 90s.
Interestingly, Schmeichel is the only shot-stopper to make it to the EPL Hall of Fame till now.
Batch of 2023
The year 2023 witnessed the first two managers being inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his long-term rival ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger were the first two inductees in 2023. The two legendary managers helped define the Premier League and fittingly are the first two coaches in the hall of fame.
Sir Alex Ferguson won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two UEFA Champions Leagues and many more trophies with United. Arsene Wenger also enjoyed plenty of success with Arsenal by leading them to three Premier League triumphs and seven FA Cups. Under Wenger, Arsenal also became the only team to go an entire season unbeaten in the Premier League in the 2003-04 Invincible season.
As far as the players go, Rio Ferdinand, Petr Cech, and Tony Adams were the first three individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2023. Ferdinand won six Premier League titles with Manchester United, while Cech won the title four times with Chelsea. Meanwhile, Tony Adams won two Premier League titles with Arsenal besides also winning the old First Division twice with the Gunners.
Photo credit: Alamy