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Rio Ferdinand, Petr Cech and Tony Adams have been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Manchester United icon Ferdinand, Chelsea legend Cech and Arsenal's most successful captain Adams came out on top of a fan vote against 12 other nominees to join Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger in the Class of '23.
The trio, who combined won 12 titles and made 1,202 Prem appearances, saw off competition from Ashley Cole, Gary Neville, Sol Campbell, Jermain Defoe, Michael Owen, Michael Carrick, Les Ferdinand, John Terry, Yaya Toure, Andy Cole, Robbie Fowler and Nemanja Vidic.
READ MORE: 'I'm a record holder – I was sent off on my Prem debut and never played again'
All three will now receive a medallion engraved with their name and the year of their induction, as well as a £10,000 donation made by the Premier League to a charity of their choice. An event will be held in London this evening (May 3) to celebrate their achievement.
Reflecting on his induction, Ferdinand, who has kept the third-most clean sheets of any defender in Prem history, said: "I'm not used to celebrating personal glory – we leave that to the midfielders and strikers!
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"When you start your career, you never dream of how well things could turn out. To be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame alongside such a high calibre of players and to be able to say that I achieved my dream is special.
"The Premier League is the holy grail, and I just can’t believe I made it."
Cech, whose 202 Prem clean sheets is the most of any goalkeeper in history, added: “When I was a child growing up in communist Czechoslovakia, playing in the Premier League was an unimaginable dream.
"It's an honour for me to be voted into the Hall of Fame in the best league in the world. That's really a special recognition and leaves a legacy. I’m proud that fans voted for me and appreciated the way I performed over the years."
And Adams, who had already won two titles before the Prem's inception in 1992, declared: “I loved being a footballer and I love Arsenal Football Club. Every time I put that shirt on, I felt proud, and it forever holds a special place in my heart.
“I’m very pleased to join the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour to be recognised and voted for by the fans who make the game what it is."
The Premier League Hall of Fame was launched in 2021, with the inaugural inductees being David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Eric Cantona, Thierry Henry, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Alan Shearer.
They were followed last year by Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Vincent Kompany, Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, Patrick Vieira and Ian Wright.
To be eligible for, the individual must have been retired as of 1 January 2023, and only their Premier League career is considered in their candidacy.
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- Premier League
- Manchester United FC
- Arsenal FC
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- Rio Ferdinand
- Tony Adams
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