Patriots to retire Brady's number 12 shirt

Tom Brady smiles while wearing sunglassesImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,

Tom Brady won six of his seven Super Bowls with the New England Patriots

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The New England Patriots are to retire Tom Brady's number 12 shirt and build a statue of their legendary former quarterback.

The franchise made the announcement while inducting the 46-year-old into their Hall of Fame.

After being selected by the Patriots with the 199th pick of the 2000 draft, Brady led them to six Super Bowl wins.

"[The statue] will stand alone in the plaza outside of the Hall of Fame to symbolise his position, not as the greatest in franchise history, but as the greatest in all of NFL history," said Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Brady left the Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 and helped them win the Super Bowl in his first season, being named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP) for a fifth time.

He retired in 2022 before reversing his decision only six weeks later to play a 23rd and final season in the NFL.

"I am eternally grateful. I am Tom Brady. And I am a Patriot," said Brady at the ceremony at the home stadium of the Patriots.

Brady played under former Patriots coach Bill Belichick during his time at the franchise.

"Let me make this crystal clear - there is no coach in the world I would rather play for than Bill Belichick," added Brady.

Belichick was also in attendance, and said: "Thank you for all that you've done for us. Thank you for all you've done for me.

"And thank you for the example and motto you've been for all of us on a daily basis for 20 years. Congratulations."

Brady is the NFL's all-time regular-season leader in pass attempts (12,050), completions (7,753), passing yards (89,214) and touchdown passes (649).

He was named the season's MVP three times.

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