Pool pay respects at Finney funeral

Sir Tom Finney
Sir Tom Finney
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Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston will be among thousands paying their respects at the funeral of Sir Tom Finney in Preston this afternoon, writes WILLIAM WATT.

Oyston will be joined by club president Jimmy Armfield, who is due to give an address during the service at Preston Minster.

Armfield, who was a close friend of Finney, said: “He, in my opinion, is one of the really great footballers that this country has produced.

“Even going back to his early days, the Italians tried to snatch him away from England – but he wouldn’t leave Preston. He was a loyalist as well.

“As much as anything else, and it’s hard to explain to many people today, but it was the way he played and the way he carried himself – his whole demeanour of life.”

The funeral is due to begin at 1pm and will be shown on a big screen at Deepdale, home of Preston North End.

With the Minster filled with invited guests, thousands are set to gather at the stadium and also line the route to the church. The cortege is due to pass Deepdale at about 12.15pm and to reach the Minster by 12.50.

Many of football’s big names are expected to attend, including Manchester United boss David Moyes and former England captain Sir Bobby Charlton.

Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander and his Preston counterpart Simon Grayson will be pall- bearers.