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Tom Finney

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Full name  Thomas Finney
Role  Footballer
Years  Team
Height  1.73 m
1946–1960  Preston North End
Playing position  Forward
Name  Tom Finney

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Date of birth  (1922-04-05)5 April 1922
Place of birth  Preston, Lancashire, England
Date of death  14 February 2014(2014-02-14) (aged 91)
Died  February 14, 2014, Preston, United Kingdom
Similar People  Simon Grayson, Graham Westley, Sam Allardyce, Alan Irvine, Darren Ferguson

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Sir Thomas Finney, CBE (5 April 1922 – 14 February 2014) was an English footballer, famous for his loyalty to his League club, Preston North End, for whom he made 569 first-class appearances, and for his performances in the England national side.

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Tom Finney Tom Finney remembered at Preston v Leyton Orient match

Finney was President of Kendal Town. For his charitable work, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1961 New Year Honours and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1992 New Year Honours and was knighted in the 1998 New Year Honours.

Tom Finney Sir Tom Finney was a working class hero who made Preston

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Early life

Tom Finney Sky Bet Football League to rename award in honour of Sir

Finney was born at home in Preston on a street next to the Deepdale stadium to Margaret (née Mitchell) and Alfred Finney. He was frail and somewhat sickly in his youth and stood only 4 ft 9 in (1.45 m) at the age of fourteen. When he was offered the opportunity to sign for Preston North End, his father insisted that he complete his apprenticeship in the family's plumbing business before signing as a professional. His mother died in 1927, aged 32.

Tom Finney Sir Tom Finney Museum Rock FM Number 1 for Lancashire

Finney was married to Elsie (née Noblett) from 1945 until her death in 2004. She suffered from Alzheimer's disease, which led Finney to be a strong supporter of the Alzheimer's Society. They had two children: a son Brian (born 1947) and a daughter Barbara (born 1950).

Second World War

Tom Finney The final whistle Thousands flock to pay their respects

Soon after Finney signed, however, the Second World War began and normal football was suspended, though Finney started to achieve some recognition during wartime tournaments. In December 1942, he made a guest appearance for Southampton in a 3–1 defeat by Arsenal at The Dell.

Tom Finney Tom Finney former England and Preston footballer dies

Called up to serve in the Royal Armoured Corps in 1942, Finney fought in Montgomery's Eighth Army in Egypt and later in Italy in the final offensive to capture Argenta in April 1945 as a Stuart tank driver in 9th Lancers. Local leave in North Africa allowed him to play in army teams against local opposition, and on one occasion he played against the future actor Omar Sharif.

Post-war career and England debut

Once normal competition was restored, Finney made his debut for Preston in August 1946 and soon established himself as an agile forward. Post-war demand for plumbers ensured that he had a second income to supplement the £14 he received as a footballer and was nicknamed "The Preston Plumber". Such was his influence on the team that Preston were, rather unfairly, known to some as "the Plumber and his 10 drips". Twenty-eight days after his first Football League appearance for Preston, and aged 24, Finney made his England debut against Northern Ireland in Belfast, scoring once in England's 7–2 victory. Finney referred to this as his "proudest day as a footballer". He went on to win 76 caps and score 30 goals in an England career that spanned 13 years and included 51 victories.

In 1952, Preston's chairman Nat Buck rejected an offer for Finney worth £10,000 over two years from Italian club Palermo, and Finney remained a one-club player. He was voted Footballer of the Year in 1953–54, the season of his only appearance in the FA Cup Final where Preston lost 3–2 to West Bromwich Albion. He was Footballer of the Year again in 1956–57, becoming the first player to win this award more than once. Finney revealed in his autobiography that he was not fully match fit for the 1954 FA Cup Final, and therefore did not give his best performance.

Finney formed an attacking partnership with Tommy Thompson in the 1950s. In the 1956–57 season they scored 57 goals altogether; in 1957–58 their combined tally was 60 goals. In June 1958, he scored his 29th international goal, against the Soviet Union to become joint England all-time top-scorer, sharing the record with Vivian Woodward and Nat Lofthouse. In October the same year, he netted his 30th goal, against Northern Ireland, to become the sole holder of the record. Two weeks later, Lofthouse equalled his tally. Both were surpassed by Bobby Charlton in October 1963. Finney's final appearance for England came in October 1958, in a 5–0 win over the Soviet Union at Wembley.

Dave Whelan described Finney as the perfect gentleman, explaining that in Whelan's first game back for Blackburn Rovers after recovering from a broken leg, he had to mark Finney in a 1962 pre-season friendly against Preston. Finney said, "You've had some bad luck son, and I'm not going to take you on, I want you to get through today's game and get back into the first team."

Retirement

Finney retired from Preston North End in 1960, only when forced out with a persistent groin injury. He had played his entire career for his local club, making 433 League appearances and scoring 187 goals. He came out of retirement in 1963 to play for Northern Irish club Distillery against Benfica in the European Cup. The season following Finney's retirement, Preston were relegated from the top flight of English football.

Finney was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1988 when he was surprised by Michael Aspel and a coach full of his former England team players in Central London. Celebrating Finney's 90th birthday in 2012, Tommy Docherty said "To me, Messi is Finney reborn."

The Splash

On 31 July 2004, Finney unveiled the water feature sculpture The Splash, by sculptor Peter Hodgkinson, which stands outside The National Football Museum. The sculpture was inspired by the 1956 Sports Photograph of the Year which features Finney beating two defenders at a waterlogged Stamford Bridge.

Preston North End

Finney maintained his links with Preston North End as the club's President, and 2006 marked 60 years since his League debut for the club. To mark this occasion the National Football Museum, an organisation which he championed and with which he had close links, invited football fans to sign a specially commissioned flag which was presented to Finney at the beginning of the 2006–07 season to mark his 60 years with Preston.

Death

Finney died on 14 February 2014; the cause of death was not announced. The Football Association called him "one of England's all-time greatest players", while fellow England player Bobby Charlton said Finney's contributions to football were "immeasurable". Former teammate and Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly, had called him "the greatest player to ever play the game" while Stanley Matthews once compared him to Diego Maradona, Pelé, George Best and Alfredo Di Stéfano.

At the time of his death aged 91, Finney was one of England's oldest living former international footballers.

Quotes about Finney

  • "Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age ... even if he had been wearing an overcoat." (Bill Shankly)
  • Shankly was asked about how a top star of the day compared to Finney: "Aye, he's as good as Tommy – but then Tommy's nearly 60 now."
  • "Tom Finney should claim income tax relief ... for his 10 dependents." (Satirical observation on the weakness of the Preston team in his absence).
  • Club

    Source:

    Honours

    Preston North End

  • Football League Second Division: 1950–51
  • FA Cup: Runner-up 1954
  • Individual

  • FWA Footballer of the Year: 1954, 1957
  • Source:

    References

    Tom Finney Wikipedia


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