Sir Thomas Finney was an English footballer who played for Preston North End Football Club and for the England national football team. Being a right-footed player, he mainly played as a left-winger.
Finney was born on 05 April 1922 in Preston, Lancashire, England. He remained a one-club player in his fourteen-year long football career.
Finney signed for Preston North End after he completed his apprenticeship in his family’s plumbing business. Soon after he signed, the Second World War began and normal football was suspended. In December 1942, he made a guest appearance for Southampton in a 3-1 defeat against Arsenal at The Dell.
Once normal competition was restored, Finney made his debut for Preston in August 1946.
Finney made his international debut for England on 28 September 1946 in a match against Northern Ireland in Belfast, scoring once in a 7-1 victory. He scored his first international goal on 27 November 1946, in a friendly international match against Netherlands.
Having made 76 appearances and scored 30 goals in his bright England career that spanned 13 years, his final appearance for England came in October 1958, in a 5-0 victory over the Soviet Union at Wembley.
Finney soon established himself as a mercurial forward in the Preston North End set-up and formed an attacking partnership with Tommy Thompson in the 1950s. He was voted as the Footballer of the Year for the 1953-54, and 1956-57 season, becoming the first player to win this award twice.
The English legend helped his club to win the 1950-51 Football League Second Division title. He won the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award twice (1954 and 1957). He made 433 league appearances for Preston and scored 187 goals.
Finney retired from Preston North End in 1960 owing to persistent groin injury. He came out of retirement in 1963 to play for Northern Irish club Distillery against Benfica in the European Cup.
Finney maintained his links with Preston North End as the club’s President. He also served as the President of Kendal Town FC.
Finney died on 14 February 2014. The Football Association called him “one of England's all-time greatest players”, while Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly had called him “the greatest player to ever play the game”.