Football

Premier League set to launch Hall of Fame with initial slate of inductees

The concept, arriving a year after it was originally intended to, will be the highest honour that can be bestowed upon stalwarts of the English game

The Premier League Hall of Fame will officially launch on April 19, the competition has confirmed, with two players set to be honoured as inaugural inductees and a further six to be included by fan vote.

The concept was originally set to launch last year but was pushed back owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, and will instead now debut this week with an initial raft of names.

It will be launched with a special television programme featuring the pair of individuals set to be honoured as part of the initial class of 2021.

What is the Premier League Hall of Fame?
The Hall of Fame will be the highest individual honour a player can be awarded for their service during their career in the English top flight.

Like other similar sporting institutions, it will be intended to highlight those who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport on British soil.

Inductees will be awarded a personalised medallion, engraved with the year that they were added to the Hall of Fame, as a token of their inclusion.

Who will be eligible for the Hall of Fame?
To be eligible this year, the Hall of Fame has deemed that any player must have been retired as of August 1, 2020, before the start of the current campaign.

In addition, only a player’s Premier League career is to be considered in their candidacy, meaning that successes further afield or on the international stage will not be included when selecting those who will be honoured.

Who is likely to be in the Hall of Fame?
With two players set to be included automatically as inaugural inductees, speculation is rife over just who they may be.

Obvious candidates include Alan Shearer, the Premier League’s all-time goalscorer, and Ryan Giggs, who has appeared in more top-flight seasons than any other player in the modern era.

The competition’s all-time record appearance holder, Gareth Barry, could be a dark horse, while David Beckham is also likely to be a favourite with the public.

Other players including Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and John Terry would all be eligible – though Wayne Rooney would not be, as the Derby County manager was still playing for the Rams earlier this season.

Whoever misses the cut is still likely to be in with a shout however, as the Premier League will unveil a shortlist of additional nominees this week for fans to vote on, with a further six names then set to be inducted at an unspecified date.

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