UK & World News
Sir Tom Finney: Football Legend Dies Aged 91
Former England and Preston footballer Sir Tom Finney has died at the age of 91.
The club announced the "extremely sad news" of his death on its website.
It said: "Sir Tom was the greatest player to ever play for Preston North End and one of the all-time greats for England.
"The thoughts of everyone at the club, and those connected with it, are with his family at this time."
Sir Tom was born at his parents' home in the street next to the club's Deepdale stadium and went on to win 76 caps for England.
Nicknamed the "Preston Plumber" after completing an apprenticeship with his family's plumbing business, the forward was famous for his loyalty to the Lancashire football side.
He made 433 appearances for the club between 1946 and 1960 and maintained links to the club in later life, becoming president.
He was knighted in the 1998 Queen's New Year Honours list and a statue outside the stadium's National Football Museum depicts a famous image of him splashing through a puddle during a game at Chelsea in 1956.
The Deepdale stadium is currently located on Sir Tom Finney Way and the ground's old West Stand was renamed the Sir Tom Finney stand in 1995, with his image on its seats.
Former team-mate Bill Shankly, who himself made 297 appearances with Preston, once said that if pressed, he would say Sir Tom was "the best player ever born".
Ex-England footballer Sir Stanley Matthews had said of Sir Tom: "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 - Pele, Maradona, Best, Di Stefano, and Tom Finney."
And another England legend Sir Bobby Charlton said: "Sir Tom Finney was one of the greatest footballers there has ever been - he was the type of player that people would travel a long way to see."
Match of the Day pundit and former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: "Sir Tom Finney has left us. One of the greatest players this country has ever seen, and a true gentleman. #RIP"
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