It was a sad day at Preston North End when Tom Finney hung up his boots for the last time and retired from the game. The greatest English footballer of his generation, Finney made 473 appearances and scored 210 goals for Preston in a 14-year career that started late, at the age of 24, because of the War. He was a mainstay for England too playing 76 times and scoring 30 goals between 1946 and 1958. Finney was a gifted inside-forward, winger and deep-lying centre-forward who won few medals but endeared himself to millions with his skill and down-to-earth personality.
Perhaps not as lauded nor as successful as his contemporary, Stanley Mathews, Finney was much the better player of the two. He could dribble with the ball just as well as Mathews but was quicker and more direct, had a better left foot, could adapt more readily to playing in different positions and was a clinical finisher. Tom Finney’s final game came at Deepdale on the 30th April 1960 against Luton Town and the poignancy of the occasion was captured in these striking images published in Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly.
Click on any of the images above and below to open the Gallery and view at full-size.