North End join in tributes to legend Armfield

Jimmy Armfield was a one-club man as a player
Jimmy Armfield was a one-club man as a player

The football world has paid tribute to World Cup winner, ex-England captain and Blackpool great Jimmy Armfield, who has died at the age of 82.

Armfield, who played 627 matches in 17 years for his only club and was part of Sir Alf Ramsey’s victorious squad in 1966, was diagnosed with cancer for a second time last year.

“Blackpool Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of its record appearance holder and vice-president Jimmy Armfield at the age of 82,” said a statement from the club.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to Jimmy’s wife Anne, his two sons, Duncan and John, and the rest of the Armfield family at this time.”

Preston North End posted their own tribute on social media: “PNE are saddened to hear of the passing of proud Lancastrian Jimmy Armfield, a friend and respected opponent of #pnefc legend Sir Tom Finney. Our thoughts are with Jimmy’s family and all at @BlackpoolFC.”

Armfield captained Blackpool for more than 10 of his 17 years at the club and was capped 43 times for England, with 15 of those occasions as skipper.

He was one of two Blackpool players along with Alan Ball named in England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad, although injury denied him an appearance at the tournament due to injury.

Only players who were on the pitch in the final received winners’ medal but what was rectified 43 years later when Armfield eventually received his medal. Armfield, made a CBE in 2009 for services to the Lancashire community, had stints in management with Bolton and Leeds before moving into broadcasting.

He was inducted into Blackpool’s Hall of Fame in 2006 and Bloomfield Road’s newly-constructed South Stand was named in his honour in 2010 with a statue commissioned by the Blackpool Supporters’ Association erected outside the ground the following year.

In a statement to the Lancashire Post’s sister paper the Blackpool Gazette Armfield’s family said: “After a long and courageous battle, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and father-in-law Jimmy Armfield, has passed away peacefully surrounded by his immediate family.

“At this time we are still in shock as we begin the grieving process. We know Jimmy was a public figure, but the family respectfully ask for privacy at this time.”