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Premier League Hall of Fame

The Premier League is widely recognised as the best league in the world of sport, recognised for its passionate support, drama and competitiveness.

The focus on the league since its inception in 1992 – with high-profile broadcast deals making it one of the most watched leagues across the globe – has seen heroes made and careers ended, with some players passing into legend for their achievements.

Here, 101 Great Goals tracks the official Premier League Hall of Fame that was established in 2021 with players added every year.

Alan Shearer

Appearances: 441

Goals: 260

Position: Striker

Clubs: Blackburn, Newcastle

Year inducted: 2021

The current highest goalscorer in Premier League history, Alan Shearer is one of the most lethal finishers that the English top-flight has ever seen. Starring first for Blackburn Rovers and then famously for hometown side Newcastle, Shearer racked up 260 Premier League goals, adding to his 30 strikes in 63 outings for the Three Lions.

So often seen wheeling away in a familiar fashion, arm aloft, after netting for the Magpies, Shearer found the net 45 times for Newcastle from the spot and added another 49 with his head. A man capable of everything needed of a striker in the top flight, his record may be broken by Harry Kane in the seasons to come, but his legacy will not be forgotten.

Alan Shearer of Newcastle celebrates scoring during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on September 13, 2003 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images).

Thierry Henry

Appearances: 258

Goals: 175

Position: Striker

Clubs: Arsenal

Year inducted: 2021

It is no exaggeration that Thierry Henry revolutionised the centre-forward role in the Premier League during his time at Arsenal. Signed as a failing left-winger from Juventus, the Frenchman was moved centrally by Arsene Wenger, and left the club eight years later as one of the most feared strikers in World football.

His sheer pace, combined with his ability to keep control of the ball at high speeds and his supreme finishing ability marked him out as a man to fear by opposition defences, and he was part of a side that won every domestic trophy going, becoming the only side to lift the Premier League without losing a game in the process.

His sheer volume of goals, combined with the way in which he scored them, sees him remembered as one of the all-time greats, and perhaps the greatest player to have played in the Premier League.

Eric Cantona

Appearances: 156

Goals: 70

Position: Centre-forward

Clubs: Manchester United

Year inducted: 2021

A man with a fiery temperament, Cantona was the first man in the Premier League to force a change away from the traditional 4-4-2 that dominated the English footballing landscape.

He was voted Manchester United’s best ever player by Inside United, a Red Devils fanzine, where he netted the majority of his 70 goals (64). One of the many famous Manchester United stars to don the number 7 shirt, Cantona’s life after Premier League success included several brand deals, while he also took up beach football as a pioneer of the sport.

Remembered around Old Trafford as ‘King Eric’, his impact on the Premier League leaves him deserving of a spot in the hall of fame.

12th May 1996; Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona with the FA Cup and Premiership trophy on their arrival at Manchester’s Victoria station. Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill/ALLSPORT

David Beckham

Appearances: 265

Goals: 62

Position: Right Midfielder

Clubs: Manchester United.

Year inducted: 2021

From one Manchester United number seven to another, Beckham is perhaps the first worldwide footballing superstar, and a man who is at least partly responsible for making the Premier League into the global entertainment it is today.

In 265 appearances for the Red Devils, Beckham scored 62 goals, winning every trophy possible. A bust up with boss Sir Alex Ferguson saw him leave in the summer of 2003, however, as he became the first English Galactico at Real Madrid.

Manchester United’s David Beckham against Aston Villa (Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images)

Roy Keane

Appearances: 366

Goals: 39

Position: Central Midfield.

Clubs: Manchester United

Year inducted: 2021

A man who left it all on the pitch, Keane was the heartbeat of the Manchester United midfield for a decade, consistently doing the dirty work for Sir Alex Ferguson in front of the Red Devil defence.

A man with a temper (he picked up 7 red cards in his Premier League career) and certainly not shy of controversy, he is nonetheless the most successful Manchester United captain ever, leading his side to nine honours, while his testimonial in 2006 drew a crowd of nearly 70,000 people, still the most to ever go to such an event.

After trying his hand at management with Sunderland, Keane turned to punditry in the Sky Sports studio alongside former teammate Gary Neville.

(r-l) Manchester United’s Roy Keane slides the ball past Middlesbrough’s goalscorer Christian Karembeu (Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images)

Dennis Bergkamp

Appearances: 315

Goals: 87

Position: Centre-forward

Clubs: Arsenal

Year inducted: 2021

Named the ‘non flying Dutchman’ due to his fear of flying, Bergkamp nonetheless took Arsenal to some giddying heights during his spell with the Gunners. The only player in Premier League history to be awarded first, second and third place in the same goal of the month competition (August 1997), his ability left many questioning whether he meant some of the things he pulled off (hint: he did).

Eleven years in the Premier League produced 87 goals and 94 assists, and he and Thierry Henry formed one of the most formidable strike partnerships in the history of the top flight.

Frank Lampard

Appearances: 609

Goals: 177

Position: Central Midfield.

Clubs: Chelsea, Manchester City.

Year inducted: 2021

Frank Lampard remains, and likely will for some time, the highest scoring midfielder in the history of the Premier League. Joining Chelsea from West Ham in 2001, his ability was questioned by man that watched him, while his figure earned him the nickname ‘Fat Frank’ in some quarters.

However, that all disappeared on the pitch, as the Roman Abramovich financed Chelsea dominance began, with Lampard front and centre. Three Premier League trophies, as well as four FA Cups and a Champions League winners medal followed for the Englishman.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Frank Lampard of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on March 10, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Steven Gerrard

Appearances: 504

Goals: 120

Position: Central Midfield

Clubs: Liverpool.

Year inducted: 2021

The other half to the ever-raging Lampard vs Gerrard debate, Stevie G is a Liverpool icon. Unfortunate that a slip cost him his best chance at a Premier League title, the Liverpool man was a mainstay in his side’s midfield for over a decade, contributing 120 goals and countless moments of magic for a side that fell on lean years domestically.

Only Lampard has managed more goals from midfield than Gerrard, and while the two couldn’t seem to play together for England, they both excelled at club level when left to their own devices.

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 31: Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool and Bordeaux at Anfield on October 31, 2006 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images).

Wayne Rooney

Appearances: 491

Goals: 208

Position: Striker/Central Midfield.

Clubs: Everton, Manchester United.

Year inducted: 2022

A striker that defined a generation of English football, injuries robbed Rooney of the twilight years of a brilliant career. Bursting onto the scene at Everton as an 18-year-old by scoring the winner against Arsenal, he was quickly snapped up by Manchester United, who turned him into one of the best forwards of the 21st Century.

A total of 208 goals in 491 appearances in the English top-flight only begins to tell the story of a man who was a great for the best part of a decade, yet somehow always looked upon as not quite fulfilling his potential.

His cap record for England, meanwhile, will take some beating, with his 120 the most for any outfield player in Three Lions history.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United warms up prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on April 1, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matt Lewis/Getty Images)

Patrick Vieira

Appearances: 307

Goals: 31

Position: Central Midfield.

Clubs: Arsenal, Manchester City.

Year inducted: 2022

Another of Arsene Wenger’s most successful dips into the French market, Patrick Vieira joined the Gunners from the Italian top flight, following the same path as compatriot Thierry Henry.

And, like Henry, he revolutionised the position he played in within the English game, with his driving runs forward and eye for goal something emulated by both Lampard and Gerrard in later years.

Forever mis-categorised as a defensive midfielder, Vieira’s peak came alongside an all-out defensive partner, first Emmanuel Petit and then Gilberto Silva, leaving the Frenchman free to roam up and down the pitch all game.

Racking up 307 Arsenal appearances and 107 caps for France are testament to his ability, as he helped his sides to three Premier League titles and a World Cup trophy in 1998.

Sergio Aguero

Appearances: 275

Goals: 184

Position: Striker

Clubs: Manchester City.

Year inducted: 2022

Sergio Aguero’s tally of 184 Premier League goals is the most by any non-Englishman in the Premier League, and is likely to remain so for some time.

The Argentine, most famous for his last-minute winner over Queens Park Rangers in 2012 that won Manchester City the Premier League title, has the best minutes per goal ratio of any player in the competition’s history.

Paul Scholes

Appearances: 499

Goals: 107

Position: Central Midfield

Clubs: Manchester United

Year inducted: 2022

Another Manchester United legend entering the Premier League hall of fame, Paul Scholes had a glittering Premier League career, scoring over 100 times for the Red Devils as he helped them to a record 11 Premier League titles across 17 years with the club.

Regularly the heartbeat of Sir Alex Fergurson’s midfield alongside Roy Keane, Scholes provided the finesse while Keane added the brute force. They were a devastating combination.

And, when Keane hung up his boots, Scholes formed an equally impressive pairing with Michael Carrick. One of many that ensured the club’s continued success.

Didier Drogba

Appearances: 254

Goals: 104

Position: Striker

Clubs: Chelsea

Year inducted: 2022

A man renowned as much for his performances in cups as the Premier League, Didier Drogba becomes the first African to be added to the Hall of Fame with the Ivory Coast star having managed over 100 goals for the Blues across a decade at Stamford Bridge.

With those goals came titles. Four to be exact, as well as a Champions League trophy, four FA Cups and three League Cups, as Drogba finished the division’s top goalscorer on two occasions.

And, since he left in 2014, Chelsea have been unable to replace him.

Peter Schmeichel

Appearances: 310

Clean Sheets: 128

Position: Goalkeeper

Clubs: Manchester United

Year inducted: 2022

The first goalkeeper on the list, Schmeichel won five titles with Manchester United, but was important for so much more than that.

The Danish shot-stopper began plenty of the Red Devils counter attacks with his famous long throw, while his save style, “the star”, while 1 on 1 with a forward, was particularly effective.

Brief stints at Aston Villa and Manchester City followed his tenure with the Red Devils, but despite crossing Manchester to turn out for their rivals, he remains a United legend.

Vincent Kompany

Appearances: 265

Clean Sheets: 94

Position: Centre Back

Clubs: Manchester City

Year inducted: 2022

One of the best defenders to emerge from the post-Terry and Ferdinand era, Vincent Kompany was a key cornerstone in Manchester City’s domestic success in the 2010s.

Joining in 2008 as a midfielder initially, he became a mainstay at centre back in the years to come, and came up with some vital goals as well as some key tackles.

He captained the side to four Premier League titles, and alongside David Silva became the first of Manchester City’s modern heroes to be given a statue outside of the Etihad Stadium.

Ian Wright

Appearances: 213

Goals: 113

Position: Striker

Clubs: Arsenal

Year inducted: 2022

Unlike some of the others on this list, Ian Wright was never particularly highly touted as a youngster. In fact, he didn’t join Arsenal until he was 28 years old, but his seven-year stint there made him the record goalscorer at the club until Thierry Henry knocked him off his perch.

Never with the breathtaking skill of Henry, Wright had a brilliant knack of knowing exactly where to be in the penalty area as he racked up 113 Premier League goals and fired the Gunners to a League title.

The Arsenal man also managed 9 goals in 33 England appearances.