Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry are the first ever players to be inducted into the Premier League’s Hall of Fame.
Shearer, who played for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, is the Premier League’s all time top scorer with 260 goals. He won the Premier League Golden Boot for three seasons in a row between 1994-45 till 1996-97.
Henry scored a record 175 goals and gave 83 assists in 258 Premier League games for Arsenal. He also won the Premier League Golden Boot for a record four times in his career.
Both center-forwards make the cut for the Premier League’s latest felicitation of significant player contributions.
SHEARER: PREMIER LEAGUE’S RECORD GOALSCORER
Shearer had many successful trials at many first division clubs such as West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City and Newcastle United. But it was Southampton who offered him a youth contract in 1986.
The Saints sold Shearer to Blackburn for a then record fee of £3.6 million in 1992. The 50-year-old scored 112 Premier League goals for Blackburn in 138 appearances. He won his only Premier League title of his goal-laden career in the 1994-95 season at Ewood Park.
The former England international striker joined hometown club Newcastle United in 1996 for yet another record transfer fee of £15 million. At Newcastle, Shearer was his most prolific, scoring 148 goals in 303 appearances for the club. His performances took the club to the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 2003.
The Premier League legend also amassed 63 caps for England, scoring 30 goals and was top scorer at Euro’96.
HENRY: THE INVINCIBLE
After playing five seasons at Monaco, Henry joined Italian giants Juventus in 1999 for £10.5 million. However, difficulty in adjusting to new positions, coupled with disagreements with the club’s director mean that Henry left the club just after playing 20 games.
The Frenchman then re-united with his former manager Arsène Wenger at Arsenal in the same year, where he sculpted his reputation as a world-class footballer. Deployed at the striker’s position from being a winger, Henry would go on to terrorize defenses in England across eight seasons with the Gunners.
He was a part of the incredible ‘Invincibles’ at Arsenal, a team who won the 2003-04 Premier League title after without losing a single game.
At Arsenal, he won the Premier League and the FA cup twice, and was runner up in the UEFA Cup and Champions League once each. He still remains the record Premier League goal scorer for the Gunners with 175 goals.
SHEARER AND HENRY: REACTIONS ON INDUCTION
Shearer felt very honored to be chosen amongst many illustrious names who have been a part of the Premier League. He achieved his dream of being a professional footballer, to win trophies and play for his boyhood club Newcastle.
Henry expressed delight to be one of first two names to grace the Hall of Fame. The Frenchman believes that his journey from being a young footballer trying to acquire a pair of boots to the Hall of Fame has been an incredible one.