WHAT THEY SAID:
“The likes of Bill Shankly and Tommy Docherty idolised him. He, in my opinion, is one of the really great footballers that this country has produced.
“Even going back to his early days, the Italians tried to snatch him away from England – but he wouldn’t leave Preston. He was a loyalist as well.
“As much as anything else, and it’s hard to explain to many people today, but it was the way he played and the way he carried himself – his whole demeanour of life. Really, Preston will be a very sad place.”
“He was the best player I’ve ever seen, alongside Lionel Messi.
“I watch a lot of Barcelona and when I watch Messi, I close my eyes and can see Tom. I'm serious when I say that Messi is the Tom Finney of today.
“Just like Finney, Messi is always getting fouled, but doesn’t complain and just gets up and gets on with the game.
“If Tom was injured and couldn’t play, Preston would delay naming the team until after 2pm on a Saturday because the gates would halve if he wasn’t on the teamsheet.
“If Gareth Bale is worth £100m, then Sir Tom would be worth far in excess of that in today’s market. In fact, there is not enough money in football to buy him.”
PRESTON CAPTAIN KEVIN DAVIES:
“We have lost a footballing Legend. A true gent and a loyal servant to his beloved PNE. RIP Sir Tom Finney.”
“Sir Tom Finney has left us. One of the greatest players this country has ever seen and a true gentleman.”
FOOTBALL LEAGUE CHAIRMAN GREG CLARK:
“He was quite possibly the finest player to have ever played in the Football League and was a true gentleman.
“He was also the epitome of the one-club man with few people ever having contributed as much to a single team, their city or our competition.”
BILL SHANKLY ONCE SAID:
“Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age ... even if he had been wearing an overcoat.”