The CCG Picture-Book - Episode 6 '2017'
Jul, 18 2020
Welcome to episode 6 of ‘The CCG Picture-Book 2012-2020’.This week I’ll be taking a closer look at the year 2017.
In 2014 Preston lost a treasured member of it’s community- Sir Tom Finney. He was a professional football player on the pitch and real gent off.
Three years later from his death an event was held at UCLAN to honour the great man.
It was a charity based evening in which football fans came in their droves to pay tribute to the life and career of the Preston North End legend.
But Tom had humble beginnings. After leaving school at just 14 he became an apprentice for a local plumbing company called Pilkington's. The following year, Finney saw an advert placed by Preston North End in the local newspaper for junior players aged fourteen to eighteen. Finney asked his father to help him get a trial and the rest you could say was history.
Eric Jones and Peter Higham, two former team mates and close friends of the Preston Plumber, entertained the packed audience with amusing tales of playing alongside one of the world’s greatest ever players.
Peter reflected on his friendship with Tom,
“To pull that white shirt on and run out of the tunnel at Deepdale for the first time alongside Sir Tom was a dream come true. Then to score a hat trick as well was unbelievable. It was a pleasure to play in the same team as the great man.”
The 2017 event was organized by The Creative Communities Group (CCG) in partnership with the Preston North End Former Players Association. The evening included the following:-
- Interviews with Eric and Peter
- A screening of the UCLAN Honorary Fellow’s 'This is your Life' TV programme
- A football quiz
- Hotpot supper
- Music from acoustic duo Ben Ainsworth and Darren Jackson.
Brian Finney, Sir Tom’s son, featured in the audience and he was pleased to be asked to such a special event,
“I was delighted to be invited to attend the event and it was great to catch up with dad's former footballing colleagues and listen to them reminisce about the old days playing for Preston North End Football Club.”
Proceeds from the ticket sales went to two local charities.
UCLAN Honorary Fellow Russell Hogarth, community ambassador and chair of the Creative Communities Group, expressed these words back in 2017 and the unique link he has with Sir Tom,
“What a tremendous evening we had looking back at the life and times of Preston's most famous footballer Sir Tom Finney. Former PNE players Eric Jones and Peter Higham had the audience spellbound when reminiscing about the old days playing alongside Sir Tom in the 1950s. It was delightful to see Sir Tom's son Brian making a personal appearance at the University to support his father's legacy. On a personal note it was also a very special night for me because I chair the UCLAN Honorary Fellows and Sir Tom received his Honorary Fellowship back in 1988.”
It’s events like these that the CCG has continued to promote in order to highlight the gifted achievements of those in the community past and present. Since 2017 it has kept up that ethos in a kind and philanthropic way. When life returns to some kind of normality the CCG will be pushing to replicate the strengths of unique individuals in Lancashire now and beyond 2020.
^Alex Ashworth CCG UK Blogger