Former England captain Jimmy Armfield and ex team mate Tommy Docherty will lead the tributes at the funeral today of Preston North End legend Sir Tom Finney.
Armfield, who played for Preston's rivals Blackpool, was a close friend of Sir Tom.
Ahead of the service at Preston Minster he said: “Finney, in my opinion, is one of the really great footballers that this country has produced.''
Tommy Docherty played in the same Preston side as the North End forward.
He added: "Tom Finney was the Lionel Messi of his day. He was the greatest ever."
Preston manager Simon Grayson will lead the pallbearers at the funeral of Sir Tom Finney.
He will be joined by Preston players past and present after Sir Tom's family asked the club to carry out the honour.
The six pallbearers are Preston North End manager Simon Grayson, goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly, Club captain John Welsh and striker and Preston fan Joe Garner along with former players Graeme Alexander and Ian Bryson.
Manager Simon Grayson said: “For me it is a huge honour and a privilege to be asked to be a pallbearer and it is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.''
Thousands of people are expected to turn out for the funeral of celebrated footballer Sir Tom Finney in Preston today.Read the full story ›
A Facebook campaign calling for an old museum to be dedicated to Sir Tom Finney, who died aged 91 last week, has attracted nearly 9,000 likes.
Preston North End fans Kevin Riding and Nick Lenehan set up the page calling for the old National Football museum, which now lies empty at the club's Deepdale stadium, to be transformed into the Sir Tom Finney museum.
Tributes from around the world have poured in for the former England footballer, with David Beckham describing him as a "true gentleman".
Finney played for Preston North End for his entire career and represented England at three World Cups.
Former England captain David Beckham has paid tribute to Sir Tom Finney, whom he describes as an "England great" and a "true gentleman."
Writing on his Facebook page, he said:
"I just landed and heard the sad news that Sir Tom Finney had passed away. I was lucky enough to have met him when I was on loan at Preston and he was not just an England great but a true gentleman. My thoughts are with his family."
Preston fans came together to pay tribute to the England footballing legend Sir Tom Finney, who died at the age of 91.Read the full story ›
Manchester City and Chelsea players observed a minutes silence for the death of Sir Tom Finney before the start of their FA Cup match.
The former England and Preston North End footballer died aged 91.
Tributes to Sir Tom Finney have been left around his statue outside the Deepdale stadium where Preston North End will meet Leyton Orient this afternoon.
Read more: Sir Tom Finney was Mr Preston
Sepp Blatter, the president of the football governing body FIFA, has tweeted a tribute to legendary Preston North End and England footballer Sir Tom Finney, who has died at the age of 91.
Sir Tom Finney, who has died at the age of 91, was a legendary footballer and a humble, one-club man.Read the full story ›