GOALSCORING legends Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer have become the first inductees of the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The online showcase of English football's modern greats launched on Monday morning – and now the nominees for a fan vote for the next six additions have been revealed.
Having moved to Blackburn with the advent of the Premier League in 1992, England hero Shearer smashed a record 260 goals en route to three Golden Boot crowns and a league title.
The striker was also named the division's Player of the Season as his 34 goals led Blackburn to their historic 1995 triumph, and he later signed for hometown club Newcastle to lead the line in awe-inspiring fashion.
Shearer, 50, said: "When you look at some of the unbelievable players to have graced the Premier League – week in, week out, year in, year out – I feel very honoured to join the Hall of Fame.
"I have to thank all of my team-mates, as well as the managers and coaches that I've worked with.
"All I ever wanted to be was a professional footballer.
"It was my dream to do that, my dream to win trophies and my dream to score at St James' Park, to wear the number nine black-and-white shirt and it was fantastic. I enjoyed every minute of it."
Joining the Toon icon is Arsenal great Henry, who claimed a pair of Premier League titles and Player of the Season gongs.
The Frenchman's imperious record includes 175 Prem goals in just 258 appearances, combining for four Golden Boots.
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The 43-year-old stated: "To be inducted alongside Alan Shearer as the two first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame is more than special.
"When I was young, I was just trying to make sure I could get a pair of boots and now we're talking about the Hall of Fame.
"During my career I wanted to play hard and make sure I was fighting for the cause, because that's all the fans want to see.
"If you asked me at the start of my career about entering the Hall of Fame, I wouldn't have believed you. It's an amazing honour."
Now the battle has commenced to see which six legends will join them.
To qualify for this year's selection, players must have retired by August 2020 and made 250 appearances in the Premier League.
Alternatively, they can qualify by playing 200 games for one club, winning three titles, winning a Player of the Season, Golden Glove or Golden Boot crown, or either scoring 100 goals or keeping 100 clean sheets.
Six more inductees will be named in the coming weeks after a fan vote kicks off on Monday evening.
Among the list of 23 Premier League heroes of yesteryear are David Beckham, Eric Cantona, Didier Drogba and Patrick Vieira.
English players John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes are also in there.
Prem CEO Richard Masters said: "Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry are two world-class players who lit up the Premier League throughout their time in the competition.
"Both players were capable of scoring every kind of goal, including some of the best we have ever seen."
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Premier League Hall of Fame 23-name shortlist
- Tony ADAMS
- David BECKHAM
- Dennis BERGKAMP
- Sol CAMPBELL
- Eric CANTONA
- Andrew COLE
- Ashley COLE
- Didier DROGBA
- Les FERDINAND
- Rio FERDINAND
- Robbie FOWLER
- Steven GERRARD
- Roy KEANE
- Frank LAMPARD
- Matt LE TISSIER
- Michael OWEN
- Peter SCHMEICHEL
- Paul SCHOLES
- John TERRY
- Robin VAN PERSIE
- Nemanja VIDIC
- Patrick VIEIRA
- Ian WRIGHT
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