My boyhood hero,had the pleasure of seeing you play at Deepdale at Easter 1956/57 v Sheffield Wednesday & also at Wembley for England.Brian Waller
The greatest man to ever grace a football pitchPaul Carter
I never saw Sir Tom play football until he retired when I along with over 35,000 turned up for his testimonial. I had of course been told by my father and grandfather how great he was and how he was the best player that had ever played the game. Of course I used to knock on his front door for his autograph and he never turned either me or my friends away.Many parents name their children after their father or someone in the family history. My first son is called Tom after a great footballer and a great man.Andrew Garstang
Tom I first saw in the 1946-47 with Bill, Shankly,Andy and Bobbie Beattie and Andy McLaren. The skill, speed and sheer genius was immensely impressive. Picture Post did a special issue on him that season against Arsenal at Deepdale. I saw him continuously at every home game and many,many away matches in the League and Cup. He was always up for the game, no matter how bruised by certain players( e.g. Cummings, Aston Villa; Jones, Mansfield Town, Feeney, Ipswich and many others.) , never reacting, never retaliating and never booked: like a header as centre forward past Kelsey, (Arsenal) from the edge of the box or Ted Sagar, (Everton) or the 8-0 thrashing of Birmingham. Or the famous chase of half dozen Blackburn players after him at Easter in the 1951 promotion season. Fantastic.His penalty kicks were invariably perfect. His crossing was superb. Shankly and Docherty, two Scots knew only too well his wide ranging repertoire of skills. His understanding with Tommy Thompson as goal scoring machines was something else in the mid-Fifties. His ability with either foot or his head outstanding. Having met him several times after training by my old home, getting his autograph or seeing him walk through the crowds to the ground before the game, he is a peoples person, a marvellous gentleman and man of real substance. Congratulation Sir Tom and thanks for thousands of wonderful memories. Bernard AspinwallBERNARD ASAPINWALL
I was fortunate enough to see Tom Finney many times as a boy at Deepdale including his last game against Luton Town. Words fail...when the ball went to Finney the noise volume of the crowd doubled in anticipation. Right wing for North End, left wing for England and converted to centre forward at the age of 34 to be picked in that position for England with clubmate, Tommy Thompson, alongside him at no. 8. Must just mention World Cup Finals, Sweden, 1958. England v Russia penalty to England. Finney, 36 then, is the England penalty taker. Finney against the legendary Russian goalkeeper, Lev Yashin.Everybody, including Yashin, knew with which foot Finney took his penalties..no problem..Finney steps up, changes feet and scores. Remarkable.Norman T. Wilcock
I am not old enough to have seen Sir Tom play, however, my mum was, and still is his biggest fan (hello Clare!).
Sir Tom wrote me a lovely letter when I got married on the anniversary of his own wedding to his beloved Elsie (1st November).
I've not had the opportunity to say this until now - Thank you LegendSimon Meredith
I once saw Sir Tom play in a charity game and was amazed at the way he still had the poise and balance of a young man even though he was years into his retirement.
I could only stand round and watch as he ran rings around men half his age - the only problem is that I was one of them!Gary Robinson
Whilst waiting for my bacon baton in 'Tasty' on Corporation Street, I noticed this poem on the wall.
When I were a lad and watched footba'
Why, we went off t'match and had fun-
Exceptin' for a' them occasions
On which t'other buggers had won.
Now, t'team I supported were Preston,
Aye, we shouted for t'famous North End
And in that team were a player
On who tha could allus depend.
His name - say it soft - were Tom Finney,
And give it aw t'reverence that's due
To a chap as could turn on a tanner
And beat anyone - any two.
He could dribble his way down yon right wing
And centre from t'bye-line, tha knows,
Then he'd do it again o'er on t'left side
And stick ba' in t'net to applause.
Nay, they had a good them in them days, lad,
They were Langton and Wayman an' aw
And Docherty playin' at half-back;
By the heck, they were wick, they could go.
Now, sometimes we went to watch Blackpool
They were just t'other way along t'road,
And they had a fella ca'd, Matthews
As some reckened were good - What a fraud!
His left leg were nobbut to stan' on
He weren't able to head ba' nor score,
When he felt cowd he'd dribble down touchline,
And bang o'er a few centres, nowt more.
Anyway, he kept playin' for England
(They were reet silly buggers at t'top)
So they had to put Finney on t'left wing
Because Stanley weren't able to swap.
So, tha sees, it were really no contest,
Tha cannot compare ale and watter,
Ee, them experts they make me feel badly
Wi'a' their continual natter.
When they're chunnerin' on about craftsmen
And they tell thee that Matthews were great.
Tha mun answer that next to Tom Finney
He could on'y be ca'd plumbers mate.Paul Whelan
I love you Sir Tom. You are forever my inspiration as a sportsman and a person. I wish you could have played football forever so I could have watched you, just once.Paul Richardson
I was two years old when I had the privilege of kicking a football around with Sir Tom when he collected his children from a neighbour's house after every home game. Little did I know just how blessed I was. Nearly sixty years have since passed and my admiration for him as a footballer and as a man are undiminished to this day. Preston's finest son and a man proud to be a Prestonian. One of the greatest sportsmen to grace the name and the game of football. Makes me truly proud to be a fellow Prestonian.Ian Billing