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Former England international Tom Finney dies aged 91

15 February 2014 00:10

Preston North End and England legend Tom Finney has died at the age of 91.

Finney was one of the original one-club players after he resisted the chance to leave his beloved hometown team of Preston and ply his trade elsewhere.

During his illustrious playing career, the former winger made 473 appearances for the Lancashire club, scoring 210 goals, while he also represented England on 76 occasions over the course of 12 years between 1946 and 1958.

The news of his death was confirmed on Friday by North End in a statement that read: "Preston North End have been informed of the extremely sad news of the passing of Sir Tom Finney.

"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."

Finney was part of the England team that beat Portugal 10-0 in 1947, while he netted twice in their 4-0 win over then-world champions Italy in 1948.

The Football Association led the tributes to Finney as they posted on their official Twitter page: "The FA is saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Tom Finney, one of England's all-time greatest players who won 76 caps."

Finney did not make his league debut until the age of 24 due to the Second World War and went on to help guide Preston back to the First Division in 1951 as well as reach the 1954 FA Cup final, which West Brom won 3-2.

He also picked up the Footballer of the Year award twice - the first player to achieve the feat.

In the 1959-60 season, Finney hung up his boots and he returned to his original trade as a plumber. He was knighted in 1998 and remained club president of North End until his death.

Finney's 30 goals for England sees him joint sixth on the country's list of all-time scorers along with Alan Shearer and Nat Lofthouse.

Second on that list is Gary Lineker, who also took to Twitter to post: "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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