Sir Tom Finney: Thousands honour Preston legend

A club flag flies at half-mast outside Preston North End's Deepdale stadium
A club flag flies at half-mast outside Preston North End's Deepdale stadium Credit: PA

Sir Tom Finney always played with pride for Preston North End. Today Preston proudly said goodbye to its favourite son.

Thousands of supporters, many too young to ever see him play, lined the streets as his funeral cort├Ęge made it's way through the city.

Preston players past and present, along with current manager Simon Grayson (far right) carry Sir Tom's coffin from Preston Minster
Preston players past and present, along with current manager Simon Grayson (far right) carry Sir Tom's coffin from Preston Minster Credit: PA

Sir Tom's coffin was transported from outside the Deepdale stadium where he played - and just a street from where he was born - to the Minster in the city centre. The amassed crowds applauded as the coffin passed.

There Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Trevor Brooking, Jimmy Armfield, David Moyes, Tommy Docherty and the Preston team led the tributes to Sir Tom.

Crowds are shown packed in around Preston Minster as Sir Tom's funeral cortege arrives
Crowds are shown packed in around Preston Minster as Sir Tom's funeral cortege arrives Credit: PA

"A great", "A humble man", "A legend" were among the comments made.

Former England teammate Jimmy Armfield said he was "the classic case of the local boy done good. Really good. I'm just pleased to have been on the same planet as him".

Tommy Docherty - a Preston player alongside Sir Tom throughout the fifties - added in his eulogy before 600 people: "He was the greatest. The Lionel Messi of his day".

Manchester United's David Moyes - formerly a player and manager at Deepdale - attended the ceremony
Manchester United's David Moyes - formerly a player and manager at Deepdale - attended the ceremony Credit: PA

Back at Deepdale, seven thousand fans watched the service on a big screen; sitting in the stand named after Sir Tom, on seats that create an image of him in his prime.

Preston manager Simon Grayson, one of the pallbearers, said: "It was a day to mourn Sir Tom, but also a day to celebrate his life".

The club's captain, John Welsh, added that Finney was an "inspiration" to anyone who pulled on the shirt.

Sir Bobby Charlton, who played alongside Sir Tom for England, outside Preston Minster
Sir Bobby Charlton, who played alongside Sir Tom for England, paid his respects Credit: PA

"The Greatest" said Preston's daily newspaper in its late edition headline.

It was a day for proud Preston to pay its respects to Sir Tom Finney.

A knight. A legend. A gentleman.