A sad day to reflect on the passing of a great footballer. Here are a few facts that helped made Sir Tom great:
Born in Preston in 1922, Sir Tom Finney OBE, CBE had to wait for a professional debut that was delayed by the outbreak of World War II.
Preston North End football player, Sir Tom was said to be one of the greatest wingers that ever lived.
He was included in Channel 4’s show England’s Dream Eleven program.
Tom drove tanks for the Eighth Army during the last war.
It is said that during the 1950s Spain’s Real Madrid offered Sir Tom £1,000 to play on loan for them for a couple of matches. Sir Tom refused, saying, ‘I only play for one team, and that is Preston North End’.
Sir Tom was the first player to be named Footballer of the Year twice – in 1954 and 1957.
Preston born Finney was one of the very first contestants on BBC’s A Question of Sport.
The Sir Tom Finney pub in Preston was named after him.
Tom was knighted by the Queen in 1998.
Tom was one of the top England goal scores of all time.
Sir Tom was made a Preston burgess in 1992.
Tom scored on both his Preston North End and England debuts,
A stand at the Preston North End Stadium is named after him.
Tommy Docherty insisting the only player worthy of comparison to Tom is current Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.
Bill Shankly said of Tom “Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age… even if he had been wearing an overcoat. “
David Beckham said of Tom: “You have had an incredible life and an incredible career, I was honoured to play for your club.”
Finney – a fully trained plumber – continued to work in his family’s business throughout his career .
He was inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2002.
Authored two books – ‘Football Around The World’ and ‘Finney on Football’.
David Moyes said about Tom “Sir Tom was a great help to me in the early stages of my management career. He has an incredible passion for the game and he is somebody I have got great admiration for. There is no doubt he was one of the greatest players, but to me he is also a great man.”
Finney scored 187 goals from the right wing in 433 appearances for the Lilywhites and collected 76 international caps.
The University of Central Lancashire named their newest sports venue the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre
Never booked or sent off during his career.
The Sir Tom Finney Community School in Preston is named in his honour.
Bobby Charlton said of Finney “I have so many happy memories of watching him play. His contribution to football is immeasurable.”
He finished his career without a major honour to his name,
Tom Finney, a true gentleman.