Preston’s Council leader said he hopes Sir Tom Finney will have a civic funeral.
Councillor Peter Rankin paid tribute to the 91-year-old footballing icon, calling him “a marvellous ambassador for Preston”.
He said: “He was a freeman of the city and it would be nice if there was a civic funeral.”
He added: “I met him a couple of times and he was a very gracious and unassuming man, even though he was known throughout the world.
“It is a very sad time for his family.”
Preston Mayor, Councillor Veronica Afrin had worked closely with Sir Tom when he was chairman of the Preston Health Authority in the 1980s, and she was vice chairman.
She said: “I only saw him a fortnight ago in the rest home and he was having his dinner.
“He was an upstanding citizen of Preston and was very well respected as chairman of the health authority.
“I also knew him through the council - he was very committed to helping young people into sport and is iconic in that world.
“I am very upset on a personal level, but they are selfish tears, because he had a good life.
“We really need to think about his family at this time.”