Tom Finney

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Tom Finney
Surname Sir Thomas Finney
birthday April 5, 1922
place of birth PrestonEngland
date of death February 14, 2014
Place of death PrestonEngland
position Striker , right winger
Years station Games (goals) 1
1946-1960 Preston North End 433 (187)
1963 FC Distillery 0 00(0)
National team
Years selection Games (goals)
1946-1958 England 76 0(30)
1 Only league games are given.

Sir Thomas "Tom" Finney , CBE (born April 5, 1922 in Preston , † February 14, 2014 ibid) was an English football player . He was active for the Preston North End club throughout his career . Finney was a professional from 1940 and between 1946 and 1958 completed a total of 76 international matches for the English national football team , scoring 30 goals.

Finney Monument “Splash” in front of the Preston National Football Museum

Athletic career

Finney was a slight child and struggled with illness at a young age. At the age of fourteen he completed trial training in his home country for Preston North End and was committed as a youth player. Since Finney's father was skeptical of his son's football career and wanted to involve him in the family plumbing business , Tom Finney was only allowed to play the sport part-time.

Finney signed his first professional contract in 1940 and made his debut in October of the same year. Since the official league operation was interrupted at this time due to the Second World War, the two-footed winger played in the Wartime League and won the Wartime Cup once . When he fought in the British 8th Army in Egypt in 1942 , he also played with a selection against various local national teams in North Africa , where he faced the future actor Omar Sharif on one occasion .

When the game was resumed after the end of the Second World War, Finney played his first game for the English national team when Northern Ireland was defeated 7-2 in Belfast on September 28, 1946 , and also scored his first goal. In the league, he made his debut against Leeds United . After he was able to establish himself on the two winger positions in the regular formation, Finney was injured after two good seasons and missed a large number of games. At the end of the 1948/49 season, Preston rose with Finney from the First Division . Despite the crisis Preston was going through at that time, Finney steadily improved in the national team and formed a very effective winger pair with Stanley Matthews . The two victories against a rising Portugal and the last world champion from Italy in 1947 ( Lisbon ) and 1948 ( Turin ), when England won 10-0 against Portugal and 4-0 against Italy, were legendary . The 1950 World Cup in Brazil was disappointing for Finney when England sensationally lost to the US team after an opening win against Chile and was eliminated from the tournament prematurely after another defeat against Spain .

After a total of two seasons in the Second Division , Preston rose again in 1951 to the elite league. In the period that followed, Finney's successes developed in opposite directions again. As Preston even won the runner-up after a good first season in the following season 1952/53, nations had international as Hungary the English team increasingly as a leading European football country succeeded, as evidenced by England 3: 6 defeat to Hungary in Wembley Stadium in Year 1953 was underlined. Only a few months later, Hungary won a second leg against England 7-1 even more clearly. Finney, who had rejected an offer from Palermo in Italy in 1952 , reached the FA Cup final in 1954 and lost 3-2 to West Bromwich Albion and was also England's Footballer of the Year . At the subsequent World Cup in 1954 , England failed 4-2 against Uruguay despite a goal by Finney in the quarter-finals .

In the aftermath of the World Cup, Finney's injury problems increased in the form of a damaged sciatic nerve and knee and shoulder injuries . When at the beginning of the 1956/57 season and after a very mixed season with Cliff Britton a new coach came to Preston, this put Finney on the position of the center forward . This decision should have a positive effect, as Preston finished first as third and then as runner-up the two subsequent seasons and Finney could increase his goal rate. At the 1958 World Cup in Sweden , now his third World Cup, Finney played in the opening game against the Soviet Union , but was due to injury for the rest of the tournament.

In the following season he played his last international game against the Soviet Union at Wembley Stadium and after a season plagued with injuries in 1959/60 Finney resigned as a footballer, with Preston relegated from the first division only a year later and not there to this day could return. Previously, with his 30th international goal against Northern Ireland in October 1958 , he had surpassed Vivian Woodward and Nat Lofthouse and had risen to become England's top scorer, but had to share this honor two weeks later with Lofthouse's last goal and finally cede it to Bobby Charlton in 1963 . Of his 76 international matches, he played 43 as a right and 33 as a left winger. He was a member of the legendary assault line, which included Stanley Matthews , Stan Mortensen , Tommy Lawton and Wilf Mannion alongside him . Finney played nine qualifying games for the World Cup tournaments in 1950, 1954 and 1958 and completed seven games with two goals for England in the finals.

In 1961 Finney, who was also known as Preston Plumber (in German roughly: Plumber from Preston ) due to the plumbing business run by his family, was awarded the Order of the British Empire as OBE and knighted in 1998 . German goalkeeper Bernd Trautmann , who played for Manchester City for a long time , said of him:

“Tom Finney towered over everyone. He's never got the attention he deserves because he's only ever played at Preston North End. He was regularly kicked into the ground, but he always got up, patted his shirt off and kept playing. I've never met a more humble and exemplary person than Tom. "

Even in old age Finney was still active in his long-term club from Preston in a club-leading position.

Web links

Commons : Tom Finney  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Sir Tom Finney dies aged 91 , accessed February 15, 2014
  2. Interview with Bernd Trautmann on