Tom Finney, one of the greatest footballers ever to wear an England shirt, has died, age 91.
Finney played 75 times for England, scoring 30 goals. But it was his club career at Preston North End where he received most of his acclaim, making 473 appearances and scoring 210 goals. Finney only played for Preston throughout his club career, while on the international stage, he was only one of two footballers from England’s 1950 World Cup squad that was still alive (Roy Bentley is now the sole survivor from that England team).
One of the most iconic images of Tom Finney is the “splash,” which has been immortalized in a statue outside Preston’s stadium. The image is from a waterlogged match at Stamford Bridge in 1956 where Finney skidded on the turf.
Stanley Matthews said this about Finney:
“To dictate the pace and course of a game, a player has to be blessed with awesome qualities. Those who have accomplished it on a regular basis can be counted on the fingers of one hand – Pelé, Maradona, Best, Di Stefano, and Tom Finney.”
Tommy Docherty, meanwhile, had said this about the England great:
“Lionel Messi is an immature Tom Finney. He reminds me of him with his attitude, an approach he plays. You never see him concerned in any tasteless things, we never hear him criticizing anyone, and that was Finney. To me Messi is Finney reborn.”