When I were a lad and watched footba’
Why, we went off t’match and had fun-
Exceptin’ for a’ them occasions
On which t’other buggers had won.
Now, t’team I supported were Preston,
Aye, we shouted for t’famous North End
And in that team were a player
On who tha could allus depend.
His name - say it soft - were Tom Finney,
And give it aw t’reverence that’s due
To a chap as could turn on a tanner
And beat anyone - any two.
He could dribble his way down yon right wing
And centre from t’bye-line, tha knows,
Then he’d do it again o’er on t’left side
And stick ba’ in t’net to applause.
Nay, they had a good team in them days, lad,
They were Langton and Wayman an’ aw
And Docherty playin’ at half-back;
By the heck, they were wick, they could go.
Now, sometimes we went to watch Blackpool
They were just t’other way along t’road,
And they had a fella ca’d, Matthews
As some reckened were good - What a fraud!
His left leg were nobbut to stan’ on
He weren’t able to head ba’ nor score,
When he felt cowd he’d dribble down touchline,
And bang o’er a few centres, nowt more.
Anyway, he kept playin’ for England
(They were reet silly buggers at t’top)
So they had to put Finney on t’left wing
Because Stanley weren’t able to swap.
So, tha sees, it were really no contest,
Tha cannot compare ale and watter,
Ee, them experts they make me feel badly
Wi’a’ their continual natter.
When they’re chunnerin’ on about craftsmen
And they tell thee that Matthews were great.
Tha mun answer that next to Tom Finney
He could on’y be ca’d plumbers mate.
- Author unknown
"To dictate the pace and course of a game, a player has to be blessed with awesome qualities. Those who have accomplished it on a regular basis can be counted on the fingers of one hand – Pelé, Maradona, Best, Di Stefano, and Tom Finney."
- Stanley Matthews
"Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age ... even if he had been wearing an overcoat."
- Bill Shankly
In memory of the ‘Preston Plumber’, scorer of 187 goals in 433 appearances for Preston North End. Sir Tom Finney, a true football great, departed this world yesterday but will never be forgotten. To celebrate his 90th birthday in 2012, we featured this poem and a gallery of images featuring Sir Tom via our friends at Colorsport. Now seems a good time to look again and recall a sporting giant, a genius and a gentleman. Good luck Tom.