Raise your hand if you knew that an English Football Hall of Fame existed. If you’re anything like me, it’s likely you didn’t have a clue about the Hall that is currently being relocated to Manchester from the National Football Museum in Preston.
I recently received a tweet from an EPL Talk reader asking that we look at creating a post that discussed the lack of a proper Hall of Fame for the Premier League. Upon my work in conducting research and looking at other similar institutions in America – the NFL Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Baseball Hall of Fame, NASCAR Hall of Fame and even the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame – I discovered the English Football Hall of Fame and it’s inaugural class of 2002. Who knew?
About to abandon the idea of asking why a Premier League Hall of Fame didn’t already exist, because in a way it did, I got to thinking about why I hadn’t ever heard of the already existing, if only for a few years, English Football Hall of Fame.
In America, the idea of a Hall of Fame is a grand experience that people travel across the country to see. Two or three of the above mentioned American institutions border on historic landmarks as thousands visit the Halls each year. Maybe I’m being a little naive, but just how well known is the English Football Hall of Fame in the U.K.? Is it a historic institution that citizens travel across the width and breadth of the country to experience?
The Hall itself adds new members in a ceremony each year that is conducted in September or October. A complete list of inductees exists and contains the usual suspects and essentially the who’s who of English football from the last fifty or sixty years. In order to gain membership into the Hall, one must be either retired or at least 30 years of age and be selected by a panel of football historians and ex-players the likes of Sir Trevor Brooking, Jimmy Armfield, Gordon Taylor and others.
In recent years, Ossie Ardiles, Teddy Sheringham, George Best, Kenny Dalglish, Kevin Keegan, David Beckham and Thierry Henry have all been inducted. Ryan Giggs and Jack Charlton were inducted in 2005, while Roy Keane and Alan Shearer got the honor in 2005 and Gary Lineker and Peter Schmeichel were inducted in 2004.
Along with players, managers, women and even teams such as Manchester United’s ‘Busby Babes’ of the 1950’s and the Manchester City team of 1968-70, the Hall boasts some pretty impressive members.
As the September/October induction period fast approaches, I’m curious as to which famous Premier League players will get the nod as I try to decipher who’s currently missing from the Hall. The 23rd of September will see the class of 2010 inducted, so now is the time to put your predictions in at EPL Talk and see if you’re right. Review again the complete list of current members here and leave a comment below if you think a particular player deserves to be in.