Tom Finney

Tom FinneyKnown as the Preston Plumber, this 76-times capped winger is still considered one of the greatest British players of all time.  He became an apprentice plumber at 14, a trade he continued all his working life, even at the height of his international fame.  Yet during the 40s and 50s he was never paid any more than any other player, getting just the £20 a week maximum wage.  These days, of course, he could earn a fortune – simply by working as a plumber.  In 1952 Italian side Palermo offered him a £10,000 signing on fee, £130 a month wages, bonuses of up to £100 a game, a Mediterranean villa, a luxury car and free travel to and from Italy for his family.  They also offered Preston £30,000 by way of a transfer fee.  This was 1952 and such sums of money were unimaginable.  Finney turned it down.  Even then being a plumber was lucrative work.  “Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age. . . even if he had been wearing an overcoat.” – Bill Shankly.

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