Prestonian’s farewell to the Lilywhites legend

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Preston North End’s ground was bathed in black as thousands of mourners descended on Deepdale to pay their respects and watch the broadcast of Sir Tom Finney’s funeral on the big screen. Rosie Swarbrick talked to emotional Prestonian’s as they bid a final farewell to the Lilywhites legend.

Andy Rarely, 64, is a PNE fan who paid tribute to Sir Tom

John Horn

John Horn

He said: “I’ve just come to take a photo of the tributes and leave my own.

“I’m just about to get some tickets so I can watch the funeral in his stadium later on.

“I’ve made a poem up about what I thought of Sir Tom I’m going to go inside and pay tribute.

“I watched him when I was a little lad and he was brilliant.

“I think Preston will come to a standstill today, I thought he brought the word proud back in to Preston.”

Hull City fan Chris Cooper travelled from Manchester to leave his respects at the splash statue

He said: “I just put a Hull City - City ‘til we die scarf - on the statue.

“Sir Tom Finney is important to everyone who is involved in football and everyone who follows England.

“I used to live in Preston myself for 15 years so I know what he means, not just to football but to the people of Preston.

“So I thought I’d come over an leave a scarf as a mark of respect, I’m not going to watch the funeral I think that is a very Preston affair but I just wanted to do something as a mark of respect.

John Horn, 67, travelled from Ayr, Scotland to pay his respects to Sir Tom.

He said: “I felt I needed to come to Deepdale today, I’ve travelled from Scotland to say goodbye to Sir Tom who was the greatest footballer ever.

“I’ll be watching inside, he was a great man, a great footballer and he meant so much to the people of Preston.

“I used to live here, so I know all about him.