Tom Finney was the Lionel Messi of his time, says Tommy Docherty

Feb 16 2014, 01:20 IST
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SummaryVery sad news that Sir Tom Finney is no longer with us, says Sepp Blatter

has left us. One of the greatest players this country has ever seen and a true gentleman," Lineker said on his Twitter feed.

Nicknamed the 'Preston Plumber' after his father made him complete his plumbing apprenticeship before signing professional, Finney represented his hometown club Preston for 14 years.

He holds the club record for goals with 210 from 473 appearances. He retired in 1960.

Finney helped Preston win the second division title in 1951 and won first division runners-up medals in 1953 and 1958. He also played in the FA Cup final defeat by West Bromwich Albion in 1954.

United boss David Moyes, a former Preston player and manager, hailed the impact Finney had on his career.

"Sir Tom was a great help in the early stages of my management career. He had an incredible passion for the game and he was someone I had great admiration for," he said.

"There is no doubt he is one of the greatest players but to me he is also a great man."

'The Splash' statue situated outside Preston's National Football Museum portrays a famous image of Finney during a 1956 rain-lashed game against Chelsea and has become a temporary memorial.

Preston, fourth in League One, host third-placed Leyton Orient at Deepdale on Saturday.

The club from the north west announced that their players would have Finney's name on the back of their shirts as a mark of respect.

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