Reader’s letters - Tuesday 25 February 2014

Youngsters walking along the Boulevard in Avenham Park but horse riders are not so welcome
Youngsters walking along the Boulevard in Avenham Park but horse riders are not so welcome
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Disgrace of horse riders

On Sunday February 2, a few people were riding their horses along the riverside at the Boulevard. They left the horse droppings in a few places while they carried on with their hack.

Why do they not carry a small dustpan and sweep this up, over the riverbank if necessary?

A lot of people walk along this path and have small children with them. Also many cyclists use this path too as well as dog walkers, who incidentally have to pick their dog mess up. Why can these horse owners get away with just leaving their mess behind. Better still let them go on a hack near to their own homes and leave our area alone. It should be one rule for everyone.

Concerned resident, Preston

Cameron lacks understanding

Some rich people, including David Cameron, say poor people “lack aspiration”. This trite observation, shows the toffs have not seriously researched long-term poverty.

It also shows they lack compassion and common courtesy. Cameron’s Tory Party need policies not bad mannered insults then we may stop reading of unemployed people making 70-plus job applications and not getting a reply.

Max Nottingham, address supplied

Royal occasion at the seaside

There can’t be many people in Preston who haven’t come into contact with Sir Tom at some time or other. How many remember he made an appearance in the Royal Variety Performance at The Blackpool Opera House in front of HM The Queen in 1955? I also had the honour of appearing, and many years later we spoke together of the experience.

Pauline Harrison, Fulwood

City schoolboys loved Sir Tom

Tom Finney was the footballing hero of every schoolboy in Preston and beyond but especially for the boys of St Vincent’s Fulwood in the 1950s.

The great man came with a few of his PNE team mates to entertain at football tennis on our playing field.

Tom’s presence helped raise lots of money for our school funds.

More importantly, he made a wonderful impression on myself and many other youngsters at the time.

Recent praise from many sports writers have eloquently placed Tom Finney where he belongs.

A gentleman, a very, very gifted footballer and an undoubted credit to his profession.

On behalf of school chums at St Vincent’s, thank you Sir Tom, bless your memory, we proudly salute you.

Gordon Smythe, Derbyshire

A fine and loyal public servant

The manner in which a vast number of people have reacted to the death of Sir Tom Finney illustrates fully the enormous respect in which he was held.

Tom did not simply play the game, he graced it and because of his presence it became the beautiful spectacle it once was.

I was employed at Preston Crown Court and met him a number of times when he attended in his capacity as a magistrate.

He also did me the very great honour by being present at my retirement party, an unforgettable conclusion to my working career.

Tom was a great citizen of Preston and brought stature to the city and the football club.

He not only showed how to play sport like no other, but played the game of life with the same impeccable integrity.

We shall not see his like again.

Ron Houlton, Rufford

Spare a thought for opposition

As a Prestonian,(now living in New Malden) I saw Tom Finney play on many occasions in my youth (I’m 81).

He was a footballing genius, a gentleman and a model of fair play in spite of the many knocks he took.

Spare a thought, however, for those who had to try to stop him, they had an almost impossible task! I’ll be there for the funeral on Thursday.

Bob Braithwaite, Surrey

Proud to share landmark day

My husband has been an admirer of Sir Tom since he was a child and has met him several times. We married on Sir Tom’s birthday, April 5 1980 in Freckleton Parish Church.

Also it is my husband’s 60th birthday on Thursday February 27, the day of Sir Tom’s funeral. He couldn’t be more proud. His name is Frank Dickinson.

Judith Dickinson, via e-mail

Fears of a goal keeping great

Bert Trautmann used to talk to the photographers behind the goal whilst play was at the other end.

One conversation during a City v PNE game went: “My defence are useless. Every time that Finney gets the ball they disappear. Oh oh, here he comes again – see you later boys.”

I might add that as Bert had learnt his English whilst a POW it was littered with expletives but I’ve left them out for publication in a family newspaper.

Peter Reed, Penwortham

Tribute to our fathers’ hero

We pay our respects to Tom, not just on behalf of ourselves but also on behalf of our late fathers. They were both fans of Tom and PNE.

My father-in-law served in the same regiment as Tom in the war and my father had a photograph of “The Splash” sellotaped to the inside of one of our kitchen cupboards when I was a teenager.

I have occasion to mention this to Tom once and he laughed. My father always referred to Tom as Sir Tom before he was ever knighted and sadly never lived to see it happen.

RIP Tom and Elsie

Maureen and Michael Smalley, Preston