Monday, February 17, 2014


No surprise really that my choice for today is the photo above showing Sir Tom Finney CBE, OBE, about to take a corner much to the obvious joy of Deepdale schoolboys surrounding the pitch and admiring the exploits of a genuine local hero.  No fences, no `foul and abusive language,` no tribal chanting, not a sign of any trouble. Why, you can almost smell the Dubbin and hear the sound of rattles and cloth caps being waved. A distant memory, another era and yet one that was blessed with the likes of Tom Finney - Preston born and bred and a plumber by trade - 433 games for his home town club, scoring 187 goals, along with 76 caps for England and 30 goals - and all after serving his country in the Second World War in the Eighth Army campaigns in North Africa and Italy. 

And all for a maximum wage of just £14 a week.   It`s always sad, of course, to lose yet another from those bygone days and, with the passing of heroes like Sir Tom and last week the Glamorgan cricketer Bernard Hedges, also sad to lose a little more of the feel for and the personal identity with those long ago times.   In the many tributes to Sir Tom there have been constant references to his modesty, his honesty, his charm and of course, his supreme skill and sportsmanship.  

On the day that Tom Finney`s death was announced, a snippet from the parallel universe of modern day football revealed that Wayne Rooney is to be offered a new contract at Manchester United that will bring his wages up to £300,000 a week for five years.   I think I know which of the two represented value for money, not just on the field of play but also in those other areas of life by which we are judged.

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