‘It’s an honour to follow in Sir Tom’s footsteps’

Sir Tom
Sir Tom
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Next Sunday, the Sir Tom Finney tribute flag will be blowing in the wind at the home of English football, Wembley.

Sir Tom’s footballing legacy will be honoured by the 30,000 North End fans when they face Swindon Town in the League One play-off final.

Brian Finney

Brian Finney

But just as the late, great PNE footballer’s image is displayed proudly at every match, his charitable legacy is also thriving.

Sir Tom passed away aged 91 in February 2014, and since then his only son Brian has followed in his father’s footsteps by continuing to raise thousands for local charities.

And Brian is honoured to take over from his father by taking on the mantle of Cash for Kids patron.

He said: “I’m very proud his name is being carried forward and charities like Cash for Kids are benefiting from this.

“I’m a patron of the Space Centre, the Sir Tom Finney Football Centre, and now Cash for Kids have asked me to participate. It is a matter of following in his footsteps to a certain extent. And it is an honour to be asked to do that.”

Sir Tom raised millions of pounds and promoted several charities, including the Baby Beat Appeal, the Space Centre and, perhaps the charity closest to his heart, the Alzheimer’s Society.

The humble winger’s beloved wife Elsie passed away aged 81 in 2004 after losing her battle with the disease, leading the Preston Plumber to launch the Sir Tom Finney Alzheimer’s Appeal.

And Brian hopes to continue Sir Tom’s work. He said: “He was a very charitable man. We are involved with quite a few charities at the moment. There have been various golf days, tribute dinners by North End all linked to various charities – Space, Baby Beat which he supported and obviously the Alzheimer’s charity.

“Now Cash for Kids is something else to get involved with.

“The family are very proud of what he did for Preston, not just football, but the town and the football and the esteem that he has been held in.

“The tremendous turnout for the funeral from the town was absolutely amazing.”

And Brian said his late father was flattered to be asked to help charitable causes.

He said: “Obviously towards the end of his days he didn’t get quite as involved, but his name has still been linked with those charities and the town.

“He was quite a humble person, he didn’t like a lot of fuss. But obviously if he could see something good coming out of it through charities it made him very proud.”