Aviva Stadium

Next Game

Rep Ire v England

Sunday, 07 June 2015, 20:00

International Match

Last Game

Italy 1 - 1 England

Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 19:45

International Match

Sir Tom Finney dies at 91

Preston North End and England legend Sir Tom Finney has died at the age of 91.

Last Updated: 14/02/14 at 23:38 Post Comment

Sir Tom Finney: England legend dies at the age of 91

Sir Tom Finney: England legend dies at the age of 91

Finney - known as 'the Preston Plumber' - is regarded as one of the greatest players to represent England. He won 76 caps and scored 30 goals, putting him joint sixth on the all-time England goalscoring list with Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer.

He made 473 appearances for Preston between 1946 and 1960, scoring 210 goals playing on the wing or as a striker. He won the Second Division title in 1950-1, League Championship runners-up medals in 1953 and 1958 and an FA Cup runners-up medal in 1954. He was the first man to be voted 'Footballer of the Year' twice.

After his playing career finished in 1960, he returned to his former trade as a plumber, before becoming a newspaper columnist.

He was awarded the OBE in 1961, and was knighted at Buckingham Palace in 1998.

In a club statement Preston North End said: "We have been informed of the extremely sad news of the passing of Sir Tom Finney.

"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."

Sky Sports' Martin Tyler said: "He scored plenty of goals, he made plenty of goals and he was a one-club man at Preston. And he had a job as well, as a plumber.

"His reputation as a footballer and as a man was top class. I met him a few times, obviously after his playing days and you couldn't ask for a more modest man about his own talent. I think he goes down as one of the great British players of the twentieth century. His greatest quality was his humility."

Finney was born in Preston in 1922 - a street away from Deepdale - and his football career began late because of the Second World War, in which he served as a tank driver. His footballing skills did however become widely known during his army service.

He made his North End debut at the age of 24 in 1946, and less than a month later he made his England debut - he scored in both games.

He played for England for 12 years, becoming the country's record goalscorer with his 30th and final international goal. Sir Bobby Charlton beat his record in 1963.

He maintained his long association with Preston, becoming the club's president. His image is printed on seats in the Sir Tom Finney Stand at Deepdale and his statue is outside the ground.

Gary Lineker, second on the all-time England goalscoring list, tweeted: "One of the greatest players this country has ever seen, and a true gentleman."

Past tributes from other greats are listed on Finney's website.

Liverpool legend Bill Shankly 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."

Sir Stanley Matthews said: "To dictate the pace and course of a game, a player has to be blessed with awesome qualities. Those who have accomplished it on a regular basis can be counted on the fingers of one hand -Pele, Maradona, Best, Di Stefano, and Tom Finney."

And Sir Bobby Charlton said: "Sir Tom Finney was one of the greatest footballers there has ever been; he was the type of player that people would travel a long way to see...one of the world's top players without question."

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, on Finney's 90th birthday in 2012, said: "My first experience of Sir Tom Finney is not one of joy - as I stood on the terraces of Hampden Park and watched him giving one of my heroes in the Scotland team, Sammy Cox, a roasting.

"Winding forward all these years and actually meeting the man restores any lost faith you might have in humanity as he is such a wonderful person and so humble. Why can't we all be like that? A credit to the town of Preston, his football club and his family."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Italy 1-1 England: Andros Townsend equaliser keeps Roy Hodgson's side unbeaten this season

Substitute Andros Townsend rescued England's unbeaten post-World Cup record as his late goal in Turin earned a 1-1 draw.

Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy step up Arsenal comebacks

Jack Wilshere scored as he stepped up his comeback from injury against a Brentford XI at Arsenal's training ground on Tuesday.

England's Andros Townsend happy to silence critics with equaliser in Italy

Andros Townsend was delighted to repay Roy Hodgson's faith with the equalising goal as England drew in Italy on Tuesday.

Mail Box

Why Do Arsenal Have So Many 'Internet Warriors'?

The Mailbox has an open letter from Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, questions Phil Jones' bulldog spirit and asks: "Why do Arsenal have so many "internet warriors?"

It's All Just A Ruse By The 'Southern Press'...

A varied Tuesday morning Mailbox, with thoughts on the England U21s, a Sterling ruse, Kane realism, Wenger coaching youth and enjoying the charity match...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company