Minute's applause before today's game

Published:
by Sunderland AFC

Tribute planned following passing of footballing legend.

A minute’s applause will be held prior to this afternoon’s FA Cup with Budweiser tie against Southampton in memory of Sir Tom Finney, who passed away yesterday at the age of 91.

Sir Tom, one of England's all-time greatest players, represented his country 76 times.

Loved by the nation, Finney was an England legend and could play at outside-right, outside-left or centre-forward.

He netted 30 goals for the Three Lions after making his debut against Northern Ireland in Belfast in 1946 when he was 24 years old. Finney scored one of England’s goals in a 7-2 victory under new manager Walter Winterbottom.

He was universally regarded as a genius of a player and at club level enjoyed a 20-year career with Preston North End, that included 569 first-class matches.

Preston’s favourite son joined the Lilywhites as an amateur in 1937, turning professional three years later. He won the Second Division Championship with them in 1951 and played in the FA Cup Final against West Bromwich Albion in 1954.

‘The Preston Plumber’, so called because he was also worked for his father's plumbing and electrical contracting firm, was twice ‘Footballer of the Year’ – in 1954 and 1957 - and was elected North End’s president during the 1975-76 season. A stand at Deepdale is named after him.

For England he played in three World Cups – in 1950 (Brazil), 1954 (Switzerland) and 1958 (Sweden) – and made his last international appearance against USSR at Wembley in October 1958. A bygone age, but still held in the highest regard by fans of every generation around the world.

FA Chairman Greg Dyke said: "On behalf of The FA, I would like to send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sir Tom Finney.

"He was one of English football’s all-time greats and will be much missed across the game.

"Sir Tom was a true one-club man at Preston North End and a fantastic player for England. He will rightly be forever remembered at Deepdale and Wembley."