Jimmy Armfield Tributes

JIMMY ARMFIELD TRIBUTE PAGE


On Monday 22nd January 2018, aged 82, Jimmy Armfield CBE, Blackpool FC legend and BSA Honorary President sadly passed away.

This page has been created to store memories of and tributes to Jimmy from BSA members past and present. 

Members Tributes

Any BSA members past or present who wish to leave tributes to Jimmy Armfield on this page, please send via email to info@blackpoolsupporters.com

BSA Tribute

Below is the full tribute from BSA to Jimmy Armfield, published in the matchday programme on Saturday 27th January.

National hero; Mr. Blackpool; legend. A small fraction of the testimonies from the local and wider community when reflecting on the passing of Jimmy Armfield this week. The boy from Denton who became an adopted son of Blackpool, his impact on our club and our town cannot be overstated.

The statistics of his playing career are well known, but impressive nonetheless – 627 appearances for the Seasiders, his only club, with over a decade as captain; 43 appearances for England, with 15 of those as captain; labelled the best right-back in the world following the 1962 World Cup, and of course a member of England’s victorious 1966 World Cup squad. Perhaps a more telling insight into the man behind those figures, though, is the fact he received just one booking in his career.

Jimmy was able to take all that he had learned during his distinguished playing days into management, enjoying successful spells at Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United. Those of a younger vintage may well remember Jimmy best for his work in broadcasting, painting vivid pictures as a radio summariser to those listening back home.

Jimmy was a popular, unassuming and entirely genuine person whose boundless enthusiasm, not just for the game of football or the town of Blackpool but for life itself, shone through whenever there was an opportunity to speak with him. We can all be grateful that there were plenty of such opportunities. He was a champion of many community interests with an active role in public work.

Jimmy’s passion for the club he played for continued throughout his life, and in addition to being Vice-President of Blackpool FC, in the early 2000s Jimmy also graciously accepted the role of President of Blackpool Supporters Association. He was always keen to give a considered opinion on any matter put before him, and was a willing provider of advice and guidance throughout many of our projects. Our annual quiz nights and fans forums, the organisation of testimonial events when injury forced Gareth Evans into early retirement, and the creation of the Blackpool FC Hall of Fame, to name just a few, all had some of Jimmy’s influence in them. Jimmy officially opened the Hall of Fame in 2006, and his name and image stand in the 1960s section. Whenever we organised events for other great figures of Blackpool FC history, you could guarantee that Jimmy would be on hand with a terrific selection of anecdotes. Told in his inimitable style, you knew all who were present were captivated.

For a man who had devoted so much time and effort to his club and his community, it was a great honour to give something back to him. In 2005, BSA organised a 70th birthday event for Jimmy at Bloomfield Road and it is testament to his popularity that the room was full to capacity. In early 2009, the decision to create a permanent reminder of Jimmy’s commitment to Blackpool FC and the Fylde Coast resulted in the launch of fundraising for a statue to be placed at the southwest corner of the stadium. A true labour of love, long days and late nights were spent organising events that would bring us ever closer to the £75,000 total. Thanks to the generosity of Blackpool fans, the community and Blackpool FC the statue, referred to as ‘Big Jim’ by the man himself, has stood proudly since May 2011. BSA committee members past and present who worked with Jimmy on events and the statue in particular remember what a pleasure he was to work alongside – a measure of the humble, modest nature of his personality.

We must now say goodbye to a thoroughly decent ambassador for the town and game in which we share Jimmy’s passion. Jimmy Armfield will be remembered not just by physical artefacts – his statue, the stand at Bloomfield Road that bears his name, the forthcoming Armfield Academy – but also for his attitude to life and his warmth towards others. All at the Blackpool Supporters Association extend their sympathies to Jimmy’s wife Anne and the Armfield family. Farewell, Gentleman Jim.