Former England and Preston North End footballer Sir Tom Finney has died aged 91.
The winger and striker, capped on 76 occasions for his country, was known as the Preston Plumber and was hugely popular throughout the game.
He was a one club man, famed for his loyalty, scoring 187 goals across a 14 year career.
Tonight, Blackpool legend Jimmy Armfield paid tribute to the footballer, calling him “one of the finest players these British Isles had ever produced.”
Mr Armfield, speaking to the Gazette said: “There is no doubt he was a fine player.
“It was not just his ability alone, it was the way he played and the way he was off the field.
“He was a special person.”
Preston confirmed the news of Sir Tom’s death in a statement this evening, which paid tribute to the club’s most famous son, who emerged as one of this country’s greatest talents in the post-war era.
“Preston North End have been informed of the extremely sad news of the passing of Sir Tom Finney,” the statement read.
“Sir Tom was the greatest player to ever play for Preston North End and one of the all-time greats for England.
“The thoughts of everyone at the club, and those connected with it, are with his family at this time.
“The club will be making an official statement on Saturday, but have no other comment at this time.”
For more on Blackpool’s tributes to Sir Tom Finney, see Saturday’s Gazette.