The National Football Museum Hall Of Fame ceremony 2016 is all set to take place at the museum’s Manchester home on Wednesday 19 October, with a line-up of the game’s legends ready to be honoured by their peers.
Since being established in 2002, the Hall Of Fame has become known as one of the football world’s most respected honours.
Each year, inductees are voted for by an expert panel. Originally consisting of greats like Sir Bobby Charlton, Jimmy Hill and Jimmy Armfield, the panel grows after each ceremony to give every inducted player a say on who should join them. Nowadays the awards are seen as an honour for players being recognised by their peers, team-mates, and even opponents.
“Rather than just counting up the honours at the end of a career, the Hall Of Fame recognises individual’s contribution to the game, as seen by others who have dedicated their lives to football”, said Kevin Haygarth, General Manager of the National Football Museum.
“It’s a recognition that the inductees really seem to value.”
In recent years, inductees including Michael Owen, Patrick Vieira and Matt LeTissier have brought their families to the Hall Of Fame, adding to a unique sense of occasion on the evening.
“Before the move to Manchester, the awards had been held in large venues around the country”, added Haygarth.
“Now we hold the evening in the actual Hall Of Fame at the museum, it makes it a more intimate event, which is appreciated both by the inductees and those lucky enough to get a table in the room.”
This year’s inductees include Manchester United defenders Denis Irwin and Rio Ferdinand, and goalkeeping greats David Seaman and Neville Southall. Scotland manager Gordon Strachan is recognised for his playing achievements, and Nottingham Forest’s European Cup hero John Robertson will also be inducted.
The historian panel have chosen Liverpool great Billy Liddell for induction, while The FA-sponsored inductees from the women’s game are ex-England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis, and full back Rachel Unitt. The Football For All award will see former England Cerebal Palsy captain Martin Sinclair join the greats in the Hall Of Fame.