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A Letter To Sir Tom

An Open Letter To Sir Tom Finney For The Vocal "Hometown Heroes" Challenge in Conjunction with "Be A Mentor"

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 3 min read
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By Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA - Tom Finney's "Splash", CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2801232

Vocal Hometown Heroes Challenge With Be A Mentor

This is for the Vocal "Hometown Heroes" Challenge in Conjunction with "Be A Mentor".

A Preston North End Fan

I was born in Preston and as such became a lifelong Preston North End supporter, In 1960 he retired from Football due to a persistent groin injury and Preston North End were relegated from the top flight and they have never returned.

Sir Tom Finney - A Football Icon

This encapsulates the great man’s career.

“Sir Tom Finney CBE (5 April 1922 – 14 February 2014) was an English footballer who played from 1946 to 1960 as an outside left for Preston North End and England. He is widely acknowledged to have been one of the sport's greatest-ever players. He was noted for his loyalty to Preston, for whom he made 569 first-class appearances, and for many outstanding performances in international matches.”

Sir Tom was one of the greatest football players ever and recently someone said that seeing Lionel Messi was like seeing Tom Finney reborn. He never cheats, always gets up from even the worst tackles, and his ball skills are second to none.

I do not expect this to be even looked at by any Vocal readers or moderators because it is about someone who played football before they were born and he is English and played for a club you have never heard of, although you can read about them here.

So here it is:

My Letter To Sir Tom Finney

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Dear Sir Tom

Can I call you that, or should I just call you Tom, or maybe Mr. Finney. You are still regarded in awe by all Preston North End fans as the greatest player to grace Deepdale’s hallowed turf, and you have a stand named after you and that amazing fountain statue outside the ground.

You were a plumber and I used to pass your factory quite often after your retirement.

I think it was wonderful that you were loyal to our club and never were tempted by money even though many clubs could only dream of having a player with your skills.

Although you started to play football from a very early age , encouraged by your father Alf and your mother Maggie you were called up to serve in the Royal Armoured Corps in 1942,

You fought for Montgomery's Eighth Army in Egypt and later, in Italy, you were in the final offensive at the Battle of the Argenta Gap in April 1945 as a Stuart tank driver with the 9th Lancers.

Local leave in North Africa allowed you to play in army teams against local opposition, and on one occasion you played against the future actor Omar Sharif.

In 1952, Preston's chairman Nat Buck rejected an offer for you worth £10,000 over two years from Italian club Palermo, and you remained a one-club player.

You were voted Footballer of the Year in 1953–54, the season of your only appearance in the FA Cup Final where Preston lost 3–2 to West Bromwich Albion.

You were Footballer of the Year again in 1956–57, becoming the first player to win this award more than once.

You formed an attacking partnership with Tommy Thompson in the 1950s. In the 1956–57 season, you scored 57 goals altogether; in 1957–58 your combined tally was 60 goals.

In June 1958, you scored your 29th international goal, against the Soviet Union to become joint England all-time top-scorer, sharing the record with Vivian Woodward and Nat Lofthouse. In October the same year, you netted your 30th goal, against Northern Ireland, to become the sole holder of the record. Two weeks later, Lofthouse equalled his tally. Both were surpassed by Bobby Charlton in October 1963.

Your final appearance for England came in October 1958, in a 5–0 win over the Soviet Union at Wembley.

You maintained your links with Preston North End as the club's president and 2006 marked 60 years since your League debut for the club. To celebrate this diamond anniversary, the National Football Museum, an organization which you championed and with which you had close links, invited football fans to sign a specially commissioned flag which was presented to you at the beginning of the 2006–07 season to mark your 60 years with Preston

Sadly on 14th February 2014, you left us, you will always be loved and remembered by all Preston fans.

Yours

Mike Singleton

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