I WAS a little bit surprised that the Premier League had waited so long to start their own Hall of Fame.

Having said that, it gives them time to look back nearly 30 years and see who the particularly outstanding players on the pitch were.

I saw the first two automatically selected were Thierry Henry, but mainly from Saints’ point of view, Alan Shearer.

I know Alan did not win the league with Saints. He was actually at Blackburn Rovers then and in fact not many would realise he started his career at Saints.

The club had then allowed me to start what would now be called a youth policy and I was able to appoint people in the north east and Bristol areas – I also took on the one up and running in London.

As I’ve said many times, it provided us with many players who eventually went from schoolboy signings to top quality first-team players.

Jack Hixon was the man who ran my north east operation. I hired a gymnasium up there two nights a week and they would bring in players they had watched.

They would then bring their best ones down in the school holidays, when my full-time staff and myself were able to have a look at them.

Alan Shearer was in that group. He joined Saints as a schoolboy in my last year as manager. I was able to sign him and of course many others but was not able to see Alan’s first game for Saints.

But eventually we caught up with each other when I became manager of the England B team and under-21s. Graham Taylor was the senior squad manager.

By then Alan had become a regular for Saints in their first team, so I was pleased to be able to pick him and, lo and behold, he scored his first goal in an England shirt.

He obviously went on to have a wonderful career.

He is still to this day the top Premier League scorer of all and when you look at the list of names who may follow him into the Hall of Fame and realise how many wonderful strikers there are – for him it shows why he is automatically, along with Henry, first choice.

Matt Le Tissier, the other Saints legend, is quite rightly on the list for the next set of entries into the Hall of Fame.

He was another result of our youth policy and he will, hopefully, rightly have his name up next to Alan Shearer, sooner than most of the others on the list.

I am sure the Saints supporters will all send their votes in for him.

With only a couple of games to go in the Championship, like most people around, I am looking for Bournemouth to join the two automatically promoted in Norwich and Watford.

My memory goes back automatically to the days when John Bond and Graham Taylor were club managers.

I smiled, remembering how their rivalry was quite strong to put it mildly but I’m sure they will both be sitting up in heaven having a soft drink, arguing their team deserved to be first and not second.