The legendary Preston North End Invincibles are to be inducted in to the National Football Museum Hall Of Fame.
Joining North End great Sir Tom Finney, the first ever winners of the Football League will be honoured alongside nine other inductees as announce on Thursday.
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.
The Lilywhites will receive one of two special awards which will also be made – the other, to mark the 1914 World War One centenary, will go to The Football Battalion, a group of professional footballers and fans who fought in the Battle of the Somme.
They join a host of others inducted in previous years, including, Alan Ball, Peter Schmeichel, Gordon Banks, Cliff Bastin, Jimmy Greaves and Preston’s very own Sir Tom Finney, whose achievements are already celebrated with a place on the honour roll.
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 on Thursday.
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 added: “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.”
The Hall of Fame dinner 2014 takes place on 16 October.