Footballing legend Sir Tom Finney, CBE former Preston North End and England star has died aged 91.
A true hero of the game and a perfect gentleman, Finney signed for his beloved local club PNE but his career was curtailed by WWII (he would go on to serve in Monty's 8th army and be allowed to play for the regiment with local sides, one of which included future actor Omar Sharif!) From 1946 to 1960 he made 433 appearances and 187 goals for PNE, totally loyal to the club for all his career. He played internationally with 76 caps for England and scoring 30 goals making him joint all time top scorer (with Nat Lofthouse and Vivian Woodward) until this record was surpassed by Bobby Charlton in 1963. In 1953/54 he was named Footballer of the Year and in 2007 he became Preston's president.
The above photograph of Finney beating two defenders on a waterlogged Stamford Bridge pitch was the 1956 Sports Photograph of the Year.
The photograph inspired Peter Hodgkinson's sculpture entitled 'The Splash' which stands outside the National Football Museum and was unveiled by Tom on 31st July, 2004.