Thousands bid farewell to football legend

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Sir Tom Finney was honoured by the great and the good of British football at his funeral yesterday.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Preston to see the funeral cortege as it travelled from Deepdale stadium to Preston Minster.

The minster itself was packed with many figures from football and the city to pay tribute to the former England winger, who died aged 91 two weeks ago.

Finney won 76 caps and scored 30 international goals, and played for Preston all his career, making 569 first-class appearances.

Sir Trevor Brooking, the former England international, said: “He was one of the most genuine individuals you would ever be likely to meet. Everyone admired and respected him.

“To come to this event today, over 50 years since he played, and see all these people both here in the minster and on the streets, I can’t think of many who would get the same reaction.”

Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey was also among those at the service, and he said: “The great and the good of football have come out to say farewell to Sir Tom Finney – a man who was a genuine legend of our game.”

Finney was nicknamed the Preston Plumber in a nod to his humble lifestyle in a different age and he was born on a street next to the Preston stadium in 1922. Mounted police escorted the funeral cortege from his home to the Minster.

The Preston and District Veterans’ Association also joined the cortege to mark his service as a tank driver during the Second World War.