Football legend Sir Tom Finney dies

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Sir Tom Finney meets members of the Kendal Town team, the football legend was club President Sir Tom Finney meets members of the Kendal Town team, the football legend was club President

Former Preston and England forward Sir Tom Finney has died at the age of 91.

Preston confirmed the news in a statement on Friday night which paid tribute to the club's most famous son, who emerged as one of this country's greatest talents in the post-war era.

"Preston North End have been informed of the extremely sad news of the passing of Sir Tom Finney," the statement read.

"Sir Tom was the greatest player to ever play for Preston North End and one of the all-time greats for England.

"The thoughts of everyone at the club, and those connected with it, are with his family at this time.

"The club will be making an official statement on Saturday 15th February 2014, but have no other comment at this time."

Finney made his debut for North End in 1946 and remained with the club until his retirement in 1960. He scored 210 goals in 473 appearances for the Lillywhites, while his record for England was equally eye-catching, netting 30 times in 76 appearances.

Finney was renowned as one of the game's great wingers and was famed for his double act in England colours with fellow wideman Sir Stanley Matthews.

He also proved a highly effective centre forward during his career which, after being delayed by the Second World War, spanned from 1946-60.

He played in three World Cups and was the first player to win two Footballer of the Year Awards.

Bill Shankly, the great Liverpool manager and a former Preston team-mate, once said: "Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age... even if he had been wearing an overcoat."

Finney spent his whole career with hometown Preston, where he lived his entire life.

Finney was nicknamed the 'Preston Plumber' during his career after his first trade, to which he returned and ran a successful business in after retiring from the game.

Additionally he worked in the media, was chairman of the Preston Health Authority and in 1998 was awarded a knighthood.

Aside from a Second Division championship title, Finney never won any of the game's major honours.

In 1954 the FA Cup final was billed to be his day - a year after his friend and rival Matthews inspired a famous Blackpool win - but Preston were beaten by West Brom.

Preston also finished First Division runner-up twice during his career.

Despite the lack of medals, Finney's reputation was immense, both on and off the field. He never lost sight of his humble roots and was regarded as a gentleman.

Preston were relegated from the top flight a year after Finney's retirement and have not returned since.

Club captain Kevin Davies tweeted: "Tonight we have lost a footballing Legend. A true gent and a loyal servant to his beloved PNE. RIP Sir Tom Finney."

Finney remains joint-sixth on England's all-time scoring list with 30 goals.

in recent years he became president of Kendal Town and the Evo-Stik League club have recently named their clubhouse the Tom Finney Bar.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:17am Sat 15 Feb 14

Chris P Bacon says...

An absolute legend of a man. He was deservedly honoured by the Queen several times and an indication of the respect in which he is held can be seen by the road named after him and the famous 'splash' statue of him now standing at the entrance of the school named after him!

This loyal, one-club man represents all that is good about the sport and should be fondly remembered this weekend by the entire football world.
An absolute legend of a man. He was deservedly honoured by the Queen several times and an indication of the respect in which he is held can be seen by the road named after him and the famous 'splash' statue of him now standing at the entrance of the school named after him! This loyal, one-club man represents all that is good about the sport and should be fondly remembered this weekend by the entire football world. Chris P Bacon

10:44am Sat 15 Feb 14

Noiticer says...

Compare and contrast the life, character and lifestyle of Tom Finney and David Beckham (and the other modern footballing stars) and it tells you a great deal about how life has changed in the past fifty years. I know which I prefer.
Compare and contrast the life, character and lifestyle of Tom Finney and David Beckham (and the other modern footballing stars) and it tells you a great deal about how life has changed in the past fifty years. I know which I prefer. Noiticer

11:09am Sat 15 Feb 14

j bee says...

i met tom in ossy at a opening night for x england star neil franklin as he took over the thwaites arms, he was just one of the lads with no edge about him he told me neil was in his dream team as the finest center half ever,will be at his funeral and i wish neil could be there to
i met tom in ossy at a opening night for x england star neil franklin as he took over the thwaites arms, he was just one of the lads with no edge about him he told me neil was in his dream team as the finest center half ever,will be at his funeral and i wish neil could be there to j bee

11:35am Sat 15 Feb 14

A Darener says...

A true football legend. Grateful to have seen him play. He would knock spots of ANY of today's so called stars. Wish he had played for the Rovers, then I would have seen more of his play. No tv matches in those days. A true two footed player and a gentleman to boot.
A true football legend. Grateful to have seen him play. He would knock spots of ANY of today's so called stars. Wish he had played for the Rovers, then I would have seen more of his play. No tv matches in those days. A true two footed player and a gentleman to boot. A Darener

2:14pm Sat 15 Feb 14

woolywords says...

A long, long time ago, my Dad, a former FA referee took me to meet this man/legend/super-her
o..
I was so awestruck then, I could say nothing then..
Now, he's died, I can say nothing now..

Old Paddy Waters, you might know of him, had a picture of Tom, on the wall of his shop, in London Road, Carlisle..the same one, where Bill Shankley bought his newspapers..
I may never see the face of God but I've had the privilege of shaking the hand of this legend....may the tears that we all shed, bathe the family in a warmth of love and joy, for just knowing him..you gave us, a great man.
Tom Finney, legend.
A long, long time ago, my Dad, a former FA referee took me to meet this man/legend/super-her o.. I was so awestruck then, I could say nothing then.. Now, he's died, I can say nothing now.. Old Paddy Waters, you might know of him, had a picture of Tom, on the wall of his shop, in London Road, Carlisle..the same one, where Bill Shankley bought his newspapers.. I may never see the face of God but I've had the privilege of shaking the hand of this legend....may the tears that we all shed, bathe the family in a warmth of love and joy, for just knowing him..you gave us, a great man. Tom Finney, legend. woolywords

2:22pm Sat 15 Feb 14

BlueSkies says...

Only saw him the one time, beating Rovers 4-1 at Ewood and he got a hat-trick! An absolutely awesome performance by a true legend of the game.

It was a game to come away from, not too disappointed because, I had witnessed a wonderful player and been in the presence of a 'great'.
Only saw him the one time, beating Rovers 4-1 at Ewood and he got a hat-trick! An absolutely awesome performance by a true legend of the game. It was a game to come away from, not too disappointed because, I had witnessed a wonderful player and been in the presence of a 'great'. BlueSkies

3:07pm Sat 15 Feb 14

jogalot says...

R.I.P. SIR TOM

I have never heard a bad word about him. He was loved by everyone he met. I think he was in complete control of himself, always choosing the right thing and never succumbing to anything negative. That's how he played his football, in complete control of the ball and never an intentional foul. I saw him close up and was struck by how relaxed and confident he was with the ball. He really PLAYED the game, playing with his opponents, having lots of fun doing it, almost like he was teaching them how to play because he almost always beat his man or passed accurately or shot superbly.

Sometimes we forget that football is a game. It is something to be played and enjoyed without any nastiness or cheating at all. That's how Tom Finney was on the field and off it as well. Many Prestonians knew him or met him because he was so approachable and a real man of the people. A role model for generations has passed away. R.I.P.
R.I.P. SIR TOM I have never heard a bad word about him. He was loved by everyone he met. I think he was in complete control of himself, always choosing the right thing and never succumbing to anything negative. That's how he played his football, in complete control of the ball and never an intentional foul. I saw him close up and was struck by how relaxed and confident he was with the ball. He really PLAYED the game, playing with his opponents, having lots of fun doing it, almost like he was teaching them how to play because he almost always beat his man or passed accurately or shot superbly. Sometimes we forget that football is a game. It is something to be played and enjoyed without any nastiness or cheating at all. That's how Tom Finney was on the field and off it as well. Many Prestonians knew him or met him because he was so approachable and a real man of the people. A role model for generations has passed away. R.I.P. jogalot

6:35pm Sat 15 Feb 14

zabby says...

A proper gent,
A proper gent, zabby

10:18pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Old Alzheimer says...

I saw him play a few times.
As fit as they are, a lot of modern defenders would see him coming towards them and then wonder where he'd gone !!!!!!!!!
I saw him play a few times. As fit as they are, a lot of modern defenders would see him coming towards them and then wonder where he'd gone !!!!!!!!! Old Alzheimer

8:38am Mon 17 Feb 14

rudis_dad says...

An absolute legend, and probably one of, if not THE greatest footballer England has ever produced.
An absolute legend, and probably one of, if not THE greatest footballer England has ever produced. rudis_dad

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree