Pete Mason, The Chair of the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre, clearly defines and supports football for all in a community rich in diversity, talent and vision. There’s a passion for football and sport in Preston that brings communities together. Tom Finney remains a football icon for whom many locals called The Preston Plumber. The working class legend continues to inspire footballers of all ages and cultures, testement to his legacy.
In 1999 The Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre was founded, with Sir Tom becoming President in 2005. Pete, said, ”We are an established and accessible registered children’s charity that provides football coaching to all on a weekly basis.” ”We are an FA Charter Standard club and a Hub Club working in partnership with the Lancashire Football Association, BUCS and UCLAN. In 2014 following the passing of Sir Tom, Graham Alexander became our president and we developed The Sir Tom Finney Football Club as part of Sir Tom’s legacy of ‘Football For All’.” ”The initiative provides the opportunity for children and adults of all abilities to play in a team who were not or are not participating in competitive sport.”
The STFPSC is based at UCLan sports arena and staffed by volunteers approximately 50 are students from UCLan, within a total of 150. We provide football training for :-
- Disabled children (4 to16 years)
- Able bodied children (4 to 16 years)
- Disadvantaged children (4 to 16 years)
- Refugee/asylum seeker children (4 to 16 years)
- Girls only sessions (4 to 16 years)
- BAME girls and ladies sessions
- Disabled adults
- Refugee/asylum seeker adults
We provide competitive football opportunities via the STFFC for:-
- U7 years to U18 years
- Open age men’s
- Open age ladies
- Vets (over 35 years)
- A military vets team
- 3 Disabled adult teams
We have two projects ongoing. One is the peace field project, hopefully to be concluded in April 2022, with a the UCLan sports arena being designated as the Sir Tom Finney Peace Field, a plaque being opened and a commemorative game between the STF Military Vets and a Lee Rigby representative team. The second is starting a disabled league utilising UCLan facilities on a Saturday during the Summer.
- Both the STFPSC and STFFC were set up to provide opportunities for all to play football regardless of their ability/disability. Sir Tom mentioned to me as we walked around the STFPSC one Saturday morning, that ‘this is football for all’ and Football For All has remained our strap line.
- We are supported by Bowker BMW/Porsche, Millers Taxi’s, Surridge sports financially and UCLan with the facilities and students. However our main form of income is the annual Sir Tom Finney tribute evening. Our next one in April 2022 will be Sir Tom’s 100th birthday celebration.
- The STFPSC has grown and continues to grow. We now have approximately 160 participants on a Saturday morning, 50 on a Friday evening and in the last 6 years the STFFC has grown from nothing to 33 teams and there will be a few more teams next season.
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