47 Facts About Tom Finney


Sir Thomas Finney was an English international footballer who played from 1946 to 1960 as a winger or centre forward for Preston North End and England.


Tom Finney is widely acknowledged to have been one of England's greatest-ever players.


Tom Finney was noted for his loyalty to Preston, for whom he made 433 Football League and 40 FA Cup appearances, scoring a total of 210 goals.


Tom Finney played for England 76 times, scoring 30 goals.


Tom Finney was born on 5 April 1922 at his parents' home on St Michael's Road, Preston, Lancashire, a few hundred yards from Deepdale stadium, the home of Preston North End His parents were Maggie and Alf Tom Finney.


Tom Finney had an elder brother called Joe and four sisters called Madge, Peggy, Doris and Edith.


When Tom Finney was very young, the family moved to Daisy Lane in the Holme Slack area of Preston.

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Tom Finney became an apprentice for a local plumbing company called Pilkington's.


Tom Finney asked his father to help him get a trial.


Tom Finney's father met Preston trainer Will Scott and it was arranged.


Tom Finney went home to get his father's approval but Alf Finney refused, insisting that he must first complete his apprenticeship before signing professional terms.


Preston were nevertheless happy with this and Tom Finney joined them as an amateur, doing his training in the evenings after work and eligible to play for the club's junior teams.


Largely inspired by Bill Shankly, who was a first team regular, and helped by Scott, Tom Finney worked hard in training and began to enhance his skills and technique.


Tom Finney soon won a place in Preston's youth team, known as the B team, which won four trophies while he played for them.


Tom Finney was 17 when the Second World War began in September 1939.


In January 1940, Tom Finney was about to join Rovers when he received a letter from North End which resulted in him signing on as a professional.


Tom Finney later recalled that he was signed on wartime terms of ten shillings a match.


Tom Finney continued to play youth team football through the season.


Tom Finney got the better of Hapgood to provide the assist for McLaren to score the opening goal.


Tom Finney says Preston should have made the most of their advantage but they failed to score from several good chances and Arsenal equalised with a goal by Denis Compton.


Tom Finney recalled that it was touch-and-go as to whether Bobby Beattie, their Scottish international inside forward would be able to play because of his RAF commitments.


Tom Finney had not arrived at Deepdale when the team set off for Blackburn and they were surprised to find him waiting at Ewood; he had gone straight there after getting a late release to play.


Tom Finney gave most of the credit to Beattie but both of the goals came from moves in which he was primarily involved.


Tom Finney recalled that, for winning the War Cup, each of the Preston players were awarded five wartime savings certificates with a value of fifteen shillings apiece.


Aged 20, Tom Finney was called up in April 1942 and assigned as a trooper to the Royal Armoured Corps.

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Tom Finney was sent to Egypt and served with Montgomery's Eighth Army.


Tom Finney said he was "lucky enough to score one of the goals" and his biographer Paul Agnew cites this as a typical example of Tom Finney's modesty.


Tom Finney became known as "The Preston Plumber" and ran his own successful plumbing business from the 1940s until the 1990s.


Tom Finney played for Preston in the 1954 FA Cup Final against West Bromwich Albion, his only cup final appearance.


Tom Finney made his international debut for England on 28 September 1946, only four weeks after his Football League debut.


Tom Finney later said the match was his "proudest day as a footballer".


Tom Finney won 76 caps and scored 30 goals in an England career that spanned twelve years and included 51 victories.


Tom Finney scored his 29th international goal in June 1958 against the Soviet Union to become joint England all-time top-scorer, sharing the record with Vivian Woodward and Nat Lofthouse.


Tom Finney was a versatile attacking player who could operate in any forward position on either side of the pitch or at centre-forward.


Tom Finney respected the rules of football and believed in fair play and sportsmanship.


Tom Finney was never booked or sent off in his career.


Dave Whelan supported this view when he said of Tom Finney: "He was and still is a total gentleman".


Tom Finney retired from competitive football in 1960 because of a persistent groin injury.


Tom Finney had played his entire career for his local club, making 433 League appearances and scoring 187 goals.


Tom Finney continued playing football after he left Preston, often appearing in charity and benefit matches.


Tom Finney continued to run his plumbing business in Preston and he worked for local charities and hospitals.


On 31 July 2004, Tom Finney unveiled the water feature sculpture The Splash, by sculptor Peter Hodgkinson, outside Deepdale stadium which at that time housed The National Football Museum.


The sculpture was inspired by the 1956 Sports Photograph of the Year which shows Tom Finney beating two Chelsea defenders at a waterlogged Stamford Bridge, which was taken on 25 August 1956 by photographer John Horton.


Tom 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.


Tom Finney was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1961 Birthday Honours after his retirement from competitive football.

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Tom Finney was married to Elsie from 1945 until her death in 2004.


Tom Finney was highly regarded by his former teammate Bill Shankly, who described Tom Finney as "the greatest player I ever saw, bar none".