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Clarke: We Wanted To Win For Sir Tom

15 February 2014

Tom Clarke says Preston North End were disappointed to draw against Leyton Orient because they wanted to dedicate three points to Sir Tom Finney.

The Deepdale legend sadly passed away on Friday night, aged 91.

The Lilywhites drew 1-1 with Russell Slade's side after Joe Garner scored a second half penalty to cancel out Mathieu Baudry's opener for the visitors.

Clarke, who joined Preston from Championship side Huddersfield Town during the summer, says Sir Tom’s influence around the Club was obvious from the moment he arrived.

“As soon as you come to the Club his aura and everything, there’s a statue outside and stuff,” the defender told PNE.Com after the match against Leyton Orient.

“I know his as what he’d done in the football world and obviously he was loved at Preston so everybody is just deeply saddened with it and we wanted to get the win today for him and his family.

“Our thoughts are with his family and hopefully they will be alright in this tough time.”

The North End players wore ‘Finney’ on the back of their shirts against Orient and 26-year-old Clarke admits it was an honour to don the great man’s name.

“It was something that was very special and as soon as I knew what was happening, I think that was a great honour to him,” he said.

“It’s something he deserved and it was a pleasure to wear his name on the back today.

North End had chances to win all three points against the visitors, regularly stinging the palms of O’s goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic.

But Clarke thinks the Lilywhites must now look at the result as a point gained rather than two lost in the race for promotion from Sky Bet League One.

“It was disappointing in the end, we had a few chances but Leyton Orient are a good team and they still have that threat there,” he said.

“So we are disappointed but it’s a good point against a good team.”

He added: “We’d have liked to have got the three points to kick on to MK Dons on Tuesday but we haven’t lost and it bodes well to play against MK Dons and get the three points there.”

Clarke came up against his brother and Leyton Orient captain, Nathan, for the second time this season. The duo both started their careers at home town club Huddersfield.

“It is a little bit strange but it’s something we’re obviously, we knew it was going to happen at some point,” Tom said of facing Nathan.

“It’s just good to play against him and to test yourself against your older brother, I think they will be a bit more please with the points than we are.”

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