Sir Tom Finney

The Preston Plumber

Player Biography
Full name: Sir Thomas Finney OBE
Date of birth: April 5, 1922
Clubs played for: Preston
England v Wales Football Tom Finney
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England v Wales Football Tom Finney Derek Dooley Football Preston North End Football Club Bobby Charlton Preston North End Football Club Bert Trautmann, Manchester City Tom Finney football Ted Drake Tom Finney Tom Finney OBE Sir Stanley Matthews David Moyes and Tom Finney, 2000
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Club Career

Tom Finney was born in April 1922 in a street next to Deepdale, the home of Preston North End. It was to be the beginning of a lifelong bond with the club, although during his teens he was forced to serve an apprenticeship with the family plumbing firm, hence his enduring nickname. The winger spent his entire career with the Lilywhites, playing more than 400 league matches in 14 years. He also played 76 times for England, but he would surely have played far more often for both club and country if World War II hadn't forced him to wait until the age of 24 to make his professional debut.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1946–1960 Preston 433 187

International Career

Finney made his England debut just a month after his first-team bow for Preston, and he went on to win 76 caps in 14 years, scoring 30 goals – a tremendous tally for a wide player.

International Career Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1946–1958 England 76 30

Key Games

May 14, 1950 International Friendly v Portugal

Finney was an experienced international by this stage, having made his debut four years previously. Even so, his four-goal solo show in this 5-3 win in Lisbon was little short of sensational. In truth, it disguised a less than impressive all-round England display but Finney's fabulous foursome, two of them penalties, ensured a notable away win.

May 1, 1954 FA Cup Final v West Bromwich Albion

It's something of a travesty that Finney never claimed a major medal as tangible reward for his extraordinary talents. The closest he came was the 1954 FA Cup final, an occasion that was supposed to be "his" match, 12 months after his great contemporary, Stanley Matthews, had inspired Blackpool to Wembley glory. Albion had not read the script, however, and although Preston led 2-1 at one stage, thanks to goals from Angus Morrison and Charlie Wayman, the Midlanders recovered to win 3-2.

April 30, 1960 First Division v Luton

The end of an era in the north-west as Preston bid farewell to their favourite son. A packed crowd of 30,000 crammed into Deepdale to pay tribute to Finney as he called time on his hugely distinguished 14-year career. The occasion may even have been too emotional for Finney, as he was undoubtedly below his best, but a 2-0 win made sure he went out on a high.

Honours

Club Competition Year
Preston Football Writers' Footballer of the Year 1954, 1957

Did You Know...?

While he was serving in North Africa during World War II, he once played for an Army team against the young Omar Sharif.

He continued to work as a plumber after the war, supplementing his maximum weekly football wage of £14.

He rejected an offer to move to Italy in 1952 when Palmero tried to buy him, even though they would have paid him a £10,000 signing-on fee and massively increased his salary.

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From the back pages

England 10-0 Portugal Published: May 26, 1947

International friendly match report

England 4-2 Sweden Published: November 20, 1947

International friendly match report

England 4-1 Spain Published: December 1, 1955

International friendly match report

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