STOURBRIDGE licensee Ted Etheridge has been lamenting the death of his sporting hero Sir Tom Finney.

Ted, of the Britannia Sports Bar in Wollaston, paid tribute to the footballing legend who died on Friday February 14.

The 91-year-old former England star and Preston North End player visited Ted's former pub The Cross in Stourbridge a few years back and the landlord described him as a "great man".

He said: “ Sir Tom Finney was of my era. I saw him play for Preston North End against West Bromwich Albion in the 1954 FA Cup Final.

“He was one of those players who could pull in the crowds, people came just to watch him play as there was little TV coverage at the time. “For my money, he was the finest footballer who ever played for England.

“Everyone goes on about Sir Stanley Matthews from that era, but for me, the real star was Tom Finney who could play anywhere across the forward line.

“I was lucky enough to meet Sir Tom during Tom Finney Bank Holiday which took place at Preston Guildhall in 2009.

“But he also came to my previous pub, The Cross at Oldswinford.

“He’d been to Merry Hill earlier in the day to promote his book, the proceeds of which went to help fight Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Sir Tom spoke about his life and career and then did a question and answer session.

“We had over 200 people turn out for the event which packed the pub out. They all paid £10 and the money also went to Alzheimer’s.

“What a great man he was and it was an honour to have spoken with him."

Sir Tom will be laid to rest in a civic funeral in Preston, Lancashire, on Thursday February 27 at 1pm.