Midfielder Tony Finnigan joined Stan Ternent’s Tigers in August 1990 and went straight into the City midfield engine room. Finnigan’s presence was not enough to halt a steep decline in the Tigers’ fortunes, whether he played in central midfield, out wide or at full back. He scored his only City goal against Bristol City in November 1990 – but that was a match that the Tigers lost 1-4, one of many poor results that led to ternent’s dismissal in early January 1991. Associated with Ternent, Finnigan was not given another first team start and left the club in March 1991.
Anthony “Tony” Finnigan was born in Wimbledon in South London and attended Wandsworth Boys School before signing for Crystala Palace’s youth team in the late 1970s. By 1980 he had failed to break into the first team and transferred to Third Division neighbours Fulham, but even further down the Leagues Finnigan was unable to command a first team shirt. In 1982 he dropped into the suburban London non-league scene, playing for Corinthian Casuals, Hendon and Dulwich Hamlet. By 1984 he spent a summer playing for Rovaniemen Lappi in the Finnish League, where his form encouraged Crystal Palace to give their former youth teamer a second chance.
Finnigan made his belated first team debut for Palace in February 1985 and scored his first senior goal against Leeds United two months later. Tony spent the 1985/86 season in Second Division Palace’s first eleven, punishing Leeds again in November 1985 with a brace of goals and truning out in central midfield, on the wing and at right back. This versatility continued into the 1986/87 season as he remained a first team regular, failing to score against Leeds for once but netting a brace against ull City instead in a 5-1 Palace victory. Finnigan missed a big chunk of the 1987/88 season due to injury and by the 1988 close season he had made 118 senior appearances for the Eagles, scoring ten goals.
In July 1988 Finnigan transferred to high fliers Blackburn Rovers, a £45,000 fee being paid. Both of his seasons at Ewood Park ended in the Division Two play-offs – a 3-4 aggregate defeat to Crystal Palace in 1989 Final was followed a year later by a 2-4 aggregate defeat to Swindon in the semi finals, though Finnigan played no part in those contests. He was a support player throughout his two years at Blackburn, making 48 appearances and scoring twice before joining Hull City in August 1990.
Tony joined Swindon Town in March 1991 from Hull City on a short term deal, then after spending the second half of 1991 playing in Hong Kong Finnigan made three appearances for Brentford during the early weeks of 1992 having joined the Bees on non-contract terms. After returning to Hong Kong in the summer of 1992 Finnigan spent the 1992/93 season at Fulham, making no first team starts, then started the 1993/94 season with seven appearances for League Division Two side Barnet. After further short spells with non-league clubs, Finnigan returned to Fulham in September 1994 and played a supporting role for just over a year, making 18 senior appearances.
After being accused of, and acquitted of, possession of illegal substances Finnigan left Fulham at the end of 1995 and in February 1996 he signed a short-term deal at Scottish League side Falkirk. After spending the 1996/97 season at Worthing Finnigan hung up his boots and commenced a successful second career as a football agent and media mogul. During the late 2000s and early 2010s Finnigan was agent to another ex-Tiger, Marlon King, defending the striker in the media despite King’s numerous convictions for a range of misdemeanours.
In March 1981 Finnigan made his debut for the England Youth team in a European Youth Championship qualifier against Northern Ireland. He started three games in the Finals tournament in Germany during May 1981, then in September 1981 he was part of the England youth team squad that travelled to Australia to compete in the World Youth Championships, winning three further caps to take his final England youth team tally to seven.
Date/Place of Birth: 17 October 1962, Wimbledon
Hull City First Game: 25 August 1990, Notts County H (Division Two), 27 years, 312 days old
Hull City Final Game: 22 December 1990, Charlton Athletic A (Division Two), 28 years, 66 days old
Crystal Palace (1978-1980), Fulham (1980-1982), Corinthian Casuals (1982-1983), Hendon (1983), Dulwich Hamlet (1983-1984), Rovaniemen Lappi (1984), Crystal Palace (1984-1988), Blackburn Rovers (1988-1990), Hull City (1990-1991), Swindon Town (1991), Hong Kong (1991), Brentford (1992), Ernest Borel (1992), Fulham (1992-1993), Barnet (1993-1994), Hendon (1994), Enfield (1994), Dulwich Hamlet (1994), Fulham (1994-1996), Falkirk (1996), Worthing (1996-1997)
Hull City Record
Career: 21 apps, 1 goalsTony Finnigan
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