Sir Bobby Charlton has paid tribute to former England colleague Sir Tom Finney, who sadly passed away last week at the age of 91.
Finney was in the side when Charlton made his debut for his country against Scotland in 1958, setting up the youngster’s debut goal in a 4-0 triumph at Hampden Park in front of almost 128,000 fans.
Although the Preston North End legend was approaching the end of his international career when Charlton broke through, the Manchester United ambassador has no doubts about the quality he possessed.
When asked by ManUtd.com where he would rank Finney among the all-time greats of the English game, Charlton replied: "I would say there were two when I first started playing – Tommy Finney and Stanley Matthews.
"They were always talked about as the best players and often grouped together in any debates. You could never get the ball from either of them. If they got it, they were off.
"It doesn't seem fair when you see all these people on television now but you weren't able to watch Tommy, Stan and even George Best because you think to yourself – this really was something special."
Charlton remembers his England debut fondly and the unique atmosphere generated by the partisan crowd in Glasgow.
"I recall playing my first match for England against Scotland and there were no English supporters!" Charlton explained. "They had the entire stadium. England did not have one supporter there – not one!
"Billy Wright was captain and he said: "Bobby, see that great, big terrace behind the goal. If they score, every one of them cannot move their hands because they are so packed in." There must have been 60,000 in there so I said okay, I will look. When it happened, as they scored an offside goal, only their heads were moving and I will never forget it!