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English Premier League: Hall of Fame - The Home of the Greats 2021


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Sep 17, 2009
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English Premier League: Hall of Fame - The Home of the Greats 2021
This honour which has been long overdue has finally become a reality.
The eight men who have been inducted recently are legends of English top flight football.
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were the inaugural inductees, followed by David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Eric Cantona, Steven Gerrard, Roy Keane and Frank Lampard.
1. Alan Shearer: Blackburn Rovers (1992-1996) & Newcastle United (1996-2006)
In its citation Shearer is immortalised by these words:
"If there was a ball and there was goal,
nothing could stop Alan Shearer. Not
defenders, not distance, not great
goalkeepers nor even the laws of physics
Shearer picks himself as the best goalscorer to date, maybe ever, as his individual club records of 112 goals at Blackburn whom he also won his only Premier League title in 1995, and at his beloved Newcastle of 148 goals serve as a testimony of this unparalleled feat. He is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation and one of the Premier League's greatest players.
But who is Alan Shearer?
He was born into a working class family in suburban Newcastle upon Tyne on 13 August 1970 and named after his father who inspired him to play football. He captained his local school in Gosforth and played for Newcastle City Schools who won a seven-a-side tournament at St. James Park. As a teenager he played amateur football for Wallsend Boys Club where he was spotted by a Southampton scout and as they say: the rest is history.
First Division
He cut his teeth at the Saints for whom he played in the final seasons of the First Division, making 118 appearances and scoring 23 goals between 1988-1992.
While at Southampton he made the national headlines in early April 1988 when he scored a hat-trick against Arsenal in Southampton's 4-2 win at The Dell. This feat made him the youngest player at 17 years and 240 days to so, breaking Jimmy Greaves' 30 year old record in top flight football.
His exploits drew attention from all and sundry as the new Premier League era approached. He was linked with both Manchester United and Liverpool before signing with Blackburn Rovers for £3.6 million pounds and becoming British football's most expensive player.
Premier League era
In his 441 club appearances for the Riversiders (138) and Magpies (303) between 1992-2006, he scored 260 goals and provided a further 64 assists.
His 34 goals which equalled Andy Coles' record (in 42 match/season) which was set the previous year, fired Blackburn to League champions in 1995 after an eighty-one year long wait, and earned him the Player of Season and Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year awards.
Moreover, his joint-record with Cole was his first of three consecutive Golden Boot awards which were only equalled by Thierry Henry (see next post).
He won the Player of the Month award four times, once at Blackburn and thrice at Newcastle with whom he also finished as runners-up twice in succession in 1997-98 and 1998-99.
Furthermore, he was the Football Writers' Association's pick as their Player of the Season in 1993/94 and came third in both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1996.
On the international front, he represented England 75 times, all in all. Eleven times at U21 level scoring 13 goals, one cap for England B, and 63 appearances, 34 as captain, for the Three Lions in friendlies, FIFA World Cup qualifications, Euro 1996/2000 and 1998 FIFA World Cup between 1992-2000 while scoring 30 times, including all three his penalties in penalty shoot-outs against Spain and Germany (Euro '96), and against Argentina in France '98
FIFA World Cup.
Though his club and country honours and awards are few, his plethora of individual accolades set him apart from most. Here are some, to name but a few in addition to those cited above:
*UEFA Euro Golden Boot 1996
*UEFA Euro 1996 Team of Tournament
*PFA Players' Player of Year 1995, 1997
*Pelé's FIFA 100
*Premier League 10 Seasons Awards
*Premier League 20 Seasons Awards
*PFA Team of the Century (1907-2007)
*Most Premier League penalties: 56
*Most PL goals inside box: 227
*Most PL goals in single match: 5
*Fewest matches to score 100 goals: 124
What a player, striker/goalscorer par excellence and what a legend: Alan Shearer