England and Preston legend Sir Tom Finney passes away

Saturday 15 Feb 2014
Sir Tom Finney played 76 times for England and scored 30 goals

The FA is saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Tom Finney, one of England's all-time greatest players who represented his country 76 times.

Loved by the nation, Finney was an England legend and could play at outside-right, outside-left or centre-forward.

He netted 30 goals for the Three Lions after making his debut against Northern Ireland in Belfast in 1946 when he was 24 years old. Finney scored one of England’s goals in a 7-2 victory under new manager Walter Winterbottom.

Sir Tom Finney - The Splash

Sir Tom Finney - The Splash

He was a genius of a player, effortlessly flitting through defences, and at club level enjoyed a 20-year career with Preston North End that included 569 first-class matches.

Preston’s favourite son joined the Lilywhites as an amateur in 1937, turning professional three years later. He won the Second Division Championship with them in 1951 and played in The FA Cup Final against West Bromwich Albion in 1954.

‘The Preston Plumber’, so called because he was also worked for his father's plumbing and electrical contracting firm, was twice ‘Footballer of the Year’ – in 1954 and 1957 - and was elected North End’s president during the 1975-76 season. A stand at Deepdale is named after him.

Sir Tom Finney in 2006

Sir Tom Finney in 2006

For England he played in three World Cups – in 1950 (Brazil), 1954 (Switzerland) and 1958 (Sweden) – and made his last international appearance against USSR at Wembley in October 1958. A bygone age, but still held in the highest regard by fans of every generation around the world.

Sir Tom Finney was 91 when he died on 14 February 2014.

FA Chairman Greg Dyke said: "On behalf of The FA, I would like to send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sir Tom Finney.

"He was one of English football’s all-time greats and will be much missed across the game.

"Sir Tom was a true one-club man at Preston North End and a fantastic player for England. He will rightly be forever remembered at Deepdale and Wembley."

By FA Staff