The route of Sir Tom Finney’s final journey through Preston has been revealed by council chiefs.
Thousands are expected to pack the streets as the city pays homage to its greatest son next Thursday.
The cortege will begin at his beloved Deepdale where the funeral procession will pause in front of the football club he graced as a player and later as its finest ambassador.
It will travel down Sir Tom Finney Way and Deepdale Road, passing within yards of his first home in St Michael’s Road and his local primary school.
When it reaches the end of Deepdale Road it will turn right in front of Preston Prison and right again up Ringway, turning left into Tithebarn Street and travelling along in front of the bus station.
It will then go right on Lord Street and left into Lancaster Road where it will be joined by a procession of civic dignitaries from the Town Hall. At the end of Lancaster Road it will bear left into Church Street to the front of Preston Minster where the funeral service will begin at 1pm.
The city council is in discussions with Lancashire Police about traffic arrangements for the event, although it is already clear Church Street will be closed from some time prior to the funeral procession arriving in the city centre.
The police will manage the rest of the route, operating a rolling road block to ensure that the cortege is able to make its journey unimpeded.
The funeral service will be conducted by Fr Timothy Lipscomb, Vicar of Preston. He said today he expected the city to “go into Guild mode” to celebrate the life of Sir Tom.
“I think the people of Preston won’t have seen anything quite like this since the Guild,” he said. “And we are all getting into Guild mode to do our best for Sir Tom.
“We are looking back on a legend in his own time. He was a tremendous footballer, a man of great integrity, he had so many qualities . He had a sense of humility and a sense of loyalty to the people of Preston.
“I am very much hoping everyone will work together and do their best to make sure this is a memorable occasion and a poignant one too. I am hoping we can collaborate and put a really worthwhile service together, so that people of all walks of life can appreciate Sir Tom’s many qualities.
“When we are dealing with any funeral the family must come first. We have to be sensitive to the needs of the family who are grieving at this time.
“The family are very much aware that this is a public occasion. But there are times when they need a little quiet and personal reflection and they should be allowed to have their private interment later and have time to bid their own farewell to Sir Tom.”