The UK Pinball Hall of Fame was originally conceived as a collaboration between the newly-created UK Pinball Show and the hub of online pinball activity in the UK, the UK Pinball Group, as a way to celebrate the great work being done to promote and grow pinball across the United Kingdom.
UK Pinball Show organiser, Nick Bennett, asked UK Pinball Group owner, Martin Ayub, to create the brand and organise the awards presentation. The duo asked pinball historian, Gary Flower, to join them to draw up a list of nominations and select the first inductees into the Hall of Fame.
Called the UK Pinball Group Hall of Fame until 2022, the first inductions took place at the Saturday evening awards dinner held as part of the UK Pinball Show in 2008.
The initial ceremony inducted the show’s special guest speaker – a tradition which continued through the UK Pinball Show and UK Pinball Party years with John Trudeau, Steve Ritchie, Dennis Nordman, Jack Guarnieri, Mark Ritchie, George Gomez and Barry Oursler all joining the Hall of Fame as guests of the show.
When Nick Bennet stood down from organising the main UK show following the joint UK Pinball Show and European Pinball Championships held in Northampton in 2009, Andrew Heighway stepped up in 2010 with his UK Pinball Party.
This followed a similar format, but the show moved to the town of Daventry and took up residence at the Barcello Daventry Hotel. Martin, Gary and Andrew continued the tradition of inducting new UK Pinball Group Hall of Fame members as part of the Saturday evening awards dinner which was hosted by the hotel.
This continued until the final UK Pinball Party in 2015, after which there was a hiatus for two years where there was no national show in the UK.
Then in 2018, Phillip Murphy offered to host the first UK Pinfest show. It was a simpler format with the concentration on having the most machines for visitors to play alongside a series of competitive events. There was no Saturday evening dinner as part of the show and thus no special guest speaker.
In 2022, following representations from the pinball community, the UK Pinball Group Hall of Fame was restarted.
The original UK Pinball Group discussion forum on Yahoo! had been discontinued (although its spirit lives on with the UK Pinball Group on Facebook), so the Hall of Fame was renamed to the UK Pinball Hall of Fame.
A new Nominations and Inductions Committee (NIC) was formed with the intention of announcing the latest inductions at each year’s UK Pinfest show and to provide a more representative and transparent selection process.
In addition, this website was created to honour all the Hall of Fame members inducted over the years.