Roy Hodgson believes Sir Tom Finney’s passing has touched every corner of the footballing world.
Current England manager Hodgson took time out from his visit to Brazil - host country of the 2014 world cup - to honour Finney who was capped 76 times for his country.
And Sir Bobby Charlton also paid his respects to ‘one of the all-time greats’.
Sir Tom passed away age 91 on Friday 14 February and former Preston North End manager Charlton paid tribute to ‘Tommy’, who played for England with Charlton in a ‘special era’ of football.
Sir Bobby said: “Tommy Finney and Stanley Matthews – they were always talked about as the best players.
“You could never get the ball from either of them. If they got it, they were off.
“It doesn’t seem fair when you see all these people on television now but you weren’t able to watch Tommy, Stan and even George Best because you think to yourself – this really was something special.”
Hodgson praised ‘one club’ man Sir Tom and paid tribute to the Preston plumber who was internationally acclaimed.
He said: “Like everyone I was saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Tom Finney and my condolences go to his family and the people of Preston.
“Sadly, I didn’t have the privilege of seeing Sir Tom play, but I know he was one of the true greats.
“He is rightly held in the highest regard and that is not just in England, but across the world.
“That he is so world-renowned makes it all the more remarkable that his loyalty to Preston North End never wavered.”