FORMER STOKE CITY stars Jimmy McIlroy and Michael Owen are to receive one of the highest honours in the game – an induction into the English Football Hall of Fame.
McIlroy and Owen, along with seven other greats of the game, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a prestigious award ceremony in October.
McIlroy scored 19 goals for the Potters in 116 appearances between 1962 and 1965 and helped Tony Waddington's side win the Second Division title by scoring six times in 18 matches at the end of the 1962/63 season.
The former Northern Ireland international, who also spent 13 years with Burnley where he became known as the Prince of Inside Forwards, said: "I am thrilled to be chosen by the illustrious selection panel; it is truly an honour to be joining the Hall of Fame."
Striker Owen scored his final goal in professional football during his one-season stay with Stoke before calling time on his playing career at the end of last season.
Owen, who shot to prominence with Liverpool and also served Real Madrid, Newcastle and Manchester United, as well as England, revealed: "I am delighted to be selected to join the Hall of Fame.
"What a fantastic way to end my playing career. My whole family are very proud. It is great to be joining a list that includes so many of my heroes."
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."
Potters legends Sir Stanley Matthews, Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton, Howard Kendall and Sir Geoff Hurst and ex-City manager Alan Ball have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame, which is housed at the National Football Museum in Manchester.