Tom Finney – fine footballer, finer man

Tom Finney – fine footballer, finer man

tom finney bootsAs a child I recall asking my Dad about the best footballers he had seen play live in the 1950’s.

The names of Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney were fast off his tongue.

Finney has died at the grand age of 91. A gentleman the likes of which football will never see again, he gave plenty back to football. Especially his beloved Preston North End.

You wouldn’t catch a player today becoming a plumber after his playing career ended. Tom Finney played football AND was a plumber at the same time. Incredible!

I was a tad late to the game to see him play although, thanks to Dad, I did see the likes of Johnny Haynes grace a football pitch.

Finney was never booked or sent off. Some achievement considering he played 433 games for Preston and won 76 caps for England.

I cannot pay a better tribute to the man than that scribed by my former Fleet Street and press box colleague, Jeff Powell http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2559875/Farewell-Sir-Tom-Finney-Preston-plumber-England-great.html

Jeff was lucky. He saw Finney play and he became a friend of the elder statesman of football.

I just want to say that, at a time when the lack of intelligence, manners and sportsmanship is on show daily via footballers who have accounts on Twitter; it’s worth taking time out to recall that football in England was once a great game played by gentlemen.

None more so than Tom Finney.

tom finney death

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