Legends Evening

Celebrating our Lancashire Football Legends

Event took place at the County Ground to officially inaugurate the rooms named after some of the greats of the game.

Lancashire FA hosted a celebration of our heritage at the County Ground last night to honour and remember the legends of football in Lancashire.

Former England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis, ex England partially sighted player Steve Daley, and family members and contacts of Sir Tom Finney, Jimmy Armfield, Nat Lofthouse, Bob Crompton and Pete Sturgess were among those in attendance alongside other special guests, including the Lancashire FA Chair of the Board of Directors, David Flory.

The rooms at Lancashire FA’s County Ground are named after those important figures who contributed to Lancashire’s rich football tapestry (including Lily Parr, former Dick, Kerr Ladies footballer) or who currently hold key roles in the game. 

Lancashire FA CEO, Simon Gerrard, and Chief Communications Officer, Helen Summers, led a Q&A session featuring all the guests where they shared stories and memories of their loved ones, including thoughts on their legacy.

Sir Tom Finney’s son, Brian Finney spoke about his dad’s character whilst brimming with pride, highlighted by the unrelenting smile on his face.

“I think there’s more things that have been named after him after his playing finished than there’s ever been before and some of them are still going on. 

“He was a very humble man and to a certain extent took things in his stride and would never refuse anyone an autograph or an interview or whatever.

“I’m obviously very proud to be asked to come, I’ve never got anywhere near as famous as Dad.”

John Armfield, son of Jimmy Armfield, reflected on the impact his father made on the beautiful game.

He said: “To us he was just dad. 

“As I’ve got older, I’ve realised the importance of his life in football. 

“Since he passed away nearly four years ago, it’s amazing how many people still associate Blackpool Football Club with my dad’s name. 

“Lancashire was everything to him, so to have something named after him at the new Lancashire FA Headquarters, he’d be very, very proud.”

Rachel Brown-Finnis stepped away from the professional game eight years ago and now works in broadcasting.

The former Everton and Liverpool goalkeeper has recently returned from Australia where she worked at the FIFA Women’s World Cup as part of the BBC’s coverage of the tournament.

The Burnley-born player spoke about how she struggles to comprehend the impact in the women’s game.

She said: “It’s quite a lot to take in really and it’s not until you get off that treadmill at the end of your career and you start to reflect a little bit on what you’ve actually achieved. 

“To still be involved in football and have the chance for that to be recognised tonight helps put that reflective piece into perspective really. 

“I never really saw it as something monumental, I was just a little girl who absolutely loved playing football and I’m still now that little girl in a very much older body who still loves football first and foremost. 

“So, for that to positively impact people is all I’d ever want.”