In Finney's own words in a book I have he was approached by the owner of Palermo Prince di Tribia in 1952 after playing for England v Italy in Florence. The offer originally was a signing on fee of 7,000 pounds, but was upped to 10,000 pounds when Tom was so shocked that he didn't answer the prince . Wages were 130 pounds per month, with up to a further bonus of 100 pounds per month depending upon results I guess.
And no one could have blamed him for jumping ship for 10 x the salary.
Sir Tom played for Distillery:I'm going to need a team to follow in NI when I move over there before too long.
Distillery was my first thought of course (unlikely to be Linfield with Healy still in charge...).
They're a long way off the European Cup and Benfica nowadays. Third tier and play at a dog track outside Lisburn.
Nickname is the Whites, appropriately.
I shall pay them a visit for sure.
Absolutely. In my opinion, although Pele, Maradonna and Best came close to him, Tom definitely was the greatest.A close relative of mine (now long deceased) used to play in the street with Tommy Finney (Sir Tom of course) around Holme Slack. He (my relative)was a good (amateur) player, very knowledgeable about all things sporting. Always said Finney, even when he (Finney) was just a kid, was truly exceptional.
Many of us know how accessible (to talk to) and modest he was when he was walking through Preston town centre or around Plungington. Had a great chat with him early 2000's just on a street corner and he remembered my relative. I couldn't believe I was actually stood there talking to the greatest footballer that ever walked onto a football pitch. It's a cliché but I had to pinch myself.
Not only that, he was a complete gentleman. My Dad (long since deceased) watched him right from the beginning and was always adamant that Finney was the best he'd ever seen. Unbelievable, sensational, it was one superlative after another. I used to ask him because I (obviously) thought, George Best was the bee's knees. "Was he really that good or are you exaggerating?"
"No, he was that good!"
As Bill Shankly said when he was Liverpool manager when someone asked him to compare Finney and Keegan who at the time was one of the best players in the world.Sadly I am not old enough to have seen Finney play, heck he was retired 27 years prior to me even being born, but being an avid Northender I am no stranger to tales of his sublime skill.
Would be amazing to see someone of his talent and generation have a game today. I wonder how they would be able to utilise the perfect pitches, lighter footballs, kits & boots and lack of shuddering tackles that are no afforded by the ever stricker rules.
By the same token, as much as Ronaldo & Messi are amazing players today, how would they have fared in a wet soggy mud-bath of a pitch away at Burnley or somewhere in 1954, with a wet, heavy ball to kick around and cumbersome boots to play in, whilst getting absolutely smashed by opposition players? I can’t imagine there would be enough pitch for Ronaldo to roll around on frankly.
Different era pal.Yeah, he was careful with money, but they didn't earn a fortune then, did they. He was only very comfortable later in life. The likes of Ryan Giggs and Rooney with their 50 million pound fortunes and cupboards full of trophies are not fit to tie Finney's boot laces.