Nine footballing legends will have their names added to the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame, after the inductees for 2014 were announced last night.
The National Football Museum announced the inductees at a reception on Thursday evening. The inductees are as follows:
Patrick Vieira- Former Arsenal captain who led the side to two consecutive league titles and one of the 'Invincibles' of the 03/04 season. Later played for Manchester City, where he now works as part of their youth development team.
On receiving the honour he said, “I am extremely honoured and proud that I have been selected to join the National Football Museum Hall of Fame. It is a huge privilege to be inducted and join my former team mates Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams on the illustrious list.”
Michael Owen- One of the Premier League, and England's highest ever scorers. Had spells at Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle, Manchester United and Stoke before retiring last season. He said, “I am delighted to be selected to join the Hall of Fame. What a fantastic way to end my playing career. My whole family are very proud. It is great to be joining a list that includes so many of my heroes.”
Jimmy McIlroy- MBE and Northern Ireland legend who made nearly 500 appearances for Burnley
Trevor Francis- Former Birmingham City striker and England international, who also won the European Cup with Nottingham Forest
Matt Dimbylow- Captain of the England Cerebral Palsy team
Sylvia Gore- MBE and pioneer for women's football in the UK
Hughie Gallacher- Scotland, Newcastle and Chelsea goalscoring phenomenon of the 1920s and 30s
Former England Newcastle and England captain Alan Shearer, who has scored more Premier League goals than any other player, will also collect his award after being initially inducted in 2004. Likewise former Chelsea and England star Ray Wilkins will accept his after being inducted last year.
Two special awards will also be made – the first, to mark the 1914 WW1 centenary, will go to The Football Battalion, a group of professional footballers and fans who fought in the Battle of the Somme.
The second will go to the 1880s Preston North End team known as 'The Invincibles', who 125 years ago this month were the first team to win the world’s first Football League competition, remaining unbeaten all season.
National Football Museum Director Kevin Moore said: “We are delighted to be able to recognise the achievements of these legendary players in this way. We really hope they and their families can attend the induction dinner and we’d love to see fans come along too – it’s a rare chance to be close to some of the biggest players in football history. We’re also extremely grateful to the PFA and the FA for their continued support of the event.”
And Alex Horne, General Secretary of The Football Association added “The Football Association is delighted to be supporting the Football for All and Female Player categories at this year’s Hall of Fame Awards. It’s not only important we recognise the all-time greats of the game but also celebrate the diversity and accessibility of our national sport.”
The Hall of Fame dinner 2014 takes place on 16 October. Members of the public can buy tickets to attend the exclusive event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For reaction from all the inductees, please visit http://www.nationalfootballmuseum.com/about-us/latest-news/2014/04/2014-hall-of-fame-inductees-announced/