Peter Ward, chairman of the Preston Guild Wheel committee, worked with Sir Tom on many occasions to boost the city.
He was also awarded his Sports Personality of the Year award by Sir Tom, who was a past recipient.
He said: “I watched Sir Tom Finney play on several occasions. The atmosphere when he was playing was always electric and invariably he gave the packed stands a master class in football skills.
“Our paths crossed later a few times, when I was a young international racing cyclist. He was always enthusiastic and encouraging.”
He added: “Over a decade ago, I initiated the Preston Guild Wheel, a 21-mile landscaped park. Who did I turn to, to kick-start this big, challenging, £3m project, from scratch? It was Sir Tom.
“I asked him to launch and promote this major, Guild legacy project. He encouraged several North West big businesses to invest in the scheme.”