Sir Tom Finney
'The Preston Plumber' was a one-club man, and one of England's most talented and hard-working attackers.
Tom Finney was one of the greatest players of the post-war period, described by Bill Shankly as “the greatest player I ever saw, bar none”.
He played for his home town team, Preston North End, for his entire career, from 1946, when he came out of the army, until his retirement from the game in 1960, making over 400 appearances.
The versatile attacker could play in any forward position, left or right, on the wing or at centre-forward, and won his 78 England caps on either side of the pitch.
Twice voted Footballer of The Year twice in the 1950s, the debate on who was the best footballer between Blackpool's Stanley Matthews or Finney, divided the nation. Some preferred Matthews' dribbling skills and others Finney’s all round ability. He was not a big man and had to take some hard tackles in a time when defenders did not take prisoners. However his speed, movement and ability, on the ground and in the air, left defenders bamboozled. A prolific goal scorer, Finney was also great at creating goals for other players: the ideal team man.
Both on and off the field he was known as a gentleman and after his career ended he dedicated his life to helping the people of his beloved town Preston, working for local charities and hospitals.
He was awarded an OBE, a CBE and a Knighthood for his charitable work. With the nickname “The Preston Plumber” he ran his own successful plumbing business from the 1940s until the 1990s.