Graham Middleton, of Ingol, was the first person to arrive outside the Minster at 9.15am.
He said: “He was a Preston legend. He was Mr Preston.
“I wouldn’t have missed this for the world, I even missed a hospital appointment for it.
“He was everybody’s hero and so down to Earth. My Auntie used to live about ten doors away and he used to play football with me on the open space when I was six or seven.”
Jack Gore, 18, of Bamber Bridge, arrived at 10.30am with his mum, Valerie Gore.
Jack said: “I’ve missed college to be here today I just couldn’t miss it. I wanted to pay my respects to the great man on this historic day.
“I grew up loving Preston North End.
Valerie said that Tom Finney went to her first wedding and has grown up knowing him. She said: “He was the uncle of my former husband. When my three older children where at school they used to tell their friends they were related to Tom Finney and no one believed them so they asked to take my wedding album into school.
“I wouldn’t have missed today.”