The Grandson of the late Sir Tom Finney – Paul Finney, has described himself as being the ‘luckiest lad in Preston’. It’s now three years since Sir Tom passed away but Paul will never forget who his Grandad was as a person, like many of those who had the privilege of meeting the man.
“I can’t put it into words really, I’ve had it since I was a child but I’m immensely proud really, I just feel like I was the luckiest lad in Preston. I suppose I’ve always known it and I’ve always grown up with it but I’ve never forgot how proud I am, he was just such a humble man.
“He was born on a council estate, he was working class and I actually think that’s why he was so loved because he just never forgot his roots.
“He knew he came from a council estate and he knew how lucky he was, he’d have played football for free because he loved it that much.
“I think that’s why the people of Preston really took him to their hearts, he was never a big time Charlie unlike modern day players who get a professional contract and a flash car and think they’re above everybody, he never forgot that and always gave his time to the community and charities.
Paul recalls one memory involving Trevor Hemmings, the owner of Preston North End and close friend of Finney buying his international cap which was up for sale at a raffle, only for Tom to hand it back and raise even more money from it.
“One of his international caps he put up for a charity raffle and Trevor Hemmings bought it for about £13,000 and gave it back to him because he thought he should keep it but he just said no I don’t want it and put it back in the raffle and it raised another £10,000. That was the sort of man he was.
“Things like that to him didn’t really matter as long as the grandkids and the rest of the family had one he’d rather the money was raised for charity.
“He was just Mr Preston wasn’t he, I think especially to the older generation he’ll always be Preston’s son.”