Tom Brady's No. 12 'is now officially retired' by New England Patriots

The emotion showed for Tom Brady during his Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The emotion showed for Tom Brady during his Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Tom Brady was inducted into the New England Patriots' Hall of Fame on Wednesday night, but that wasn't the only honor he received in the ceremony at Gillette Stadium.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed that Brady's No. 12 "is now officially retired."

"There is only one iconic number that will always represent Tom Brady, and tonight, I promise it will never be worn again," Kraft said.

Brady appeared to be moved to tears by the announcement as fans cheered.

Kraft also promised that a statue of Brady would be unveiled at the stadium later this year, per reporters covering the event. Appropriately, it is slated to be 12 feet tall.

The celebration of Brady's legendary 20-year run with the Patriots — he won six Super Bowl championships in Foxborough, in case you forgot — brought a number of football luminaries to the stadium. Peyton Manning was there, as was Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss, who was brought to tears by the standing ovation he received in a moving moment.

Longtime coach Bill Belichick and former teammate Drew Bledsoe, who both took part in Brady's Netflix roast, were also among those in attendance. Bledsoe produced some laughs when he called Brady "the worst backup quarterback in the history of the NFL."

"You never understood that when I got healthy, you're supposed to sit the hell down," Bledsoe cracked.

Belichick thanked Brady for everything he did for the coach, the team and for "the example and model that you've been for all of us on a daily basis for 20 years.

"You're unbelievable. Congratulations."

Brady, who told fans "it feels good to be home," also had high praise for Belichick and the historic partnership they forged together.

"It wasn't me. It wasn't you. It was us," Brady said, according to reporters.

"Let me make this crystal clear — there is no coach in the world I would rather play for."

Brady left the Patriots after the 2019 season and Belichick — who never won a playoff game in New England without Brady — parted ways with the organization earlier this year. But at least Wednesday night, any bad blood that lingered between Brady, Belichick and Kraft over the demise of the Patriots' dynasty appeared to be cast aside in a night of celebration of the greatest football run we've ever seen.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Brady No. 12 retired by Patriots, who are also giving him statue

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