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Nine New Legends Honoured By National Football Museum

Thu 24th Apr 2014 | Football Industry Events

Nine new football legends are to receive one of the highest honours in football– an induction into the English Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum.

Arsenal and Manchester City legend Patrick Vieira, Liverpool and Manchester United star Michael Owen, Northern Ireland hero Jimmy Mcilroy, former England captain Alan Shearer, Birmingham City striker Trevor Francis, Chelsea and Manchester United star Ray ‘Butch’ Wilkins, Matt Dimbylow (Captain of the England Cerebral Palsy team), women’s football pioneer Sylvia Gore MBE, and Scotland, Newcastle and Chelsea goalscoring phenomenon of the 1920s and 30s Hughie Gallacher will all be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a prestigious award ceremony in October.

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 squad known as the Preston North End Invincibles, who 125 years ago this month were the first team to win the world’s first Football League competition, remaining unbeaten all season. 

Inductees have been chosen by a panel featuring some of the biggest names in football including, the Museum’s President Sir Bobby Charlton, Vice President Sir Alex Ferguson, Gordon Taylor and Mark Lawrenson.  They must have finished their playing career or be aged over 30 and have played or managed in England for at least five years to qualify for Hall of Fame nomination.

The names were revealed at a launch drinks reception at the National Football Museum last night (24th April).

Patrick Viera 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.”

Ray Wilkins added: “It’s an honour to be inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame and join the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst.”

England and Newcastle FC legend Alan Shearer said: “I am so looking forward to attending the Hall of Fame awards this year. It is a special honour to be recognised alongside so many greats of the game’s history. I am particularly pleased to be receiving my award in the same year as Newcastle legend Hughie Gallacher.”

And Michael Owen added: “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.”

Trevor Francis said: “It is a real honour to be selected to join the Hall of Fame alongside so many outstanding players from the history of the game.”

And Sylvia Gore added: “I am delighted to be entered into the Hall of Fame. I am so excited and thank the panel for choosing me and in particular Sir Bobby Charlton. I'm honoured and look forward to the evening.”

Jimmy McIlroy was equally delighted. He said: “I am thrilled to be chosen by the illustrious selection panel; it is truly an honour to be joining the Hall of Fame.”

Matt Dimbylow commented “This is such an honour. I thought that captaining my country was the ultimate personal achievement, but this surpasses it. Without the support of my family and friends this would not have been possible. I am extremely grateful to everyone who has helped me through my time in football."

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.”

Gordon Tayor OBE, Chief Executive at the PFA said: “The PFA is proud to have been a supporter of the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame and contributor to the selection process since its inception in 2002. It is a key means by which we ensure that great players of the past are remembered.”

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 halloffame@nationalfootballmuseum.com. Information about ticket prices and sponsorship packages can be found online at www.nationalfootballmuseum.com

Image: Action Images / Ed Sykes Livepic

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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