On patrol... in grandad’s footsteps

Beach Boy and Ball Jimmy Armfield, Blackpool and England full-back takes a break during summer still keeping fit. May 1962
Beach Boy and Ball Jimmy Armfield, Blackpool and England full-back takes a break during summer still keeping fit. May 1962
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When it comes to beaches, it’s something that quite literally runs in the family.

Tom Armfield, 21, has hailed his time patrolling the beach where his famous footballing grandfather Jimmy used to train.

Tom Armfield

Tom Armfield

Tom has spent the summer as part of Blackpool Council’s beach patrol before moving to Germany to take up an internship with sportswear manufacturer Adidas..

He said: “I’ve loved working for the beach patrol team.

“They’re a strong team who have a huge amount of responsibility; you’ve always got to be on your game and rise to the challenge no matter what is thrown at you.

“At times, some visitors come to Blackpool and are not particularly clued up about the sea and how to keep themselves safe.

“One person even asked me where the beach was when the tide was in.”

The service deals with everything from swimmers in distress to people trapped on sandbanks and, at times, more serious injuries sustained by the shore.

But Tom, a talented sportsman himself having captained Arnold School on the rugby pitch, handled the challenges well and received a glowing reference to Adidas from the team - a move which former Seasiders and England legend Jimmy has welcomed.

Tom added: “He started reeling stories off about football in Germany.”

“He was also telling me that he remembers the first boots that came out that were twist-in studs rather and when they became lower cut rather than a high cut boot.

“My grandad is always really supportive and we both said it’s incredible how far things of come.

“He loves coming down to the beach for a walk too so he’s taken a keen interest in the beach patrol job.”

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, who oversees the Beach Patrol team, said: “We wish Tom very well with his new job.

“It’s very pleasing to hear that he’s been able to serve the resort like his grandfather did and it’s fantastic to hear he’s done so well.”