Blackpool will say an emotional goodbye to Jimmy Armfield tomorrow.
The sporting legend and broadcasting icon’s funeral cortege will arrive at Bloomfield Road, where fans are expected to gather, at noon, before a private service at St Peter’s Church in Lytham Road, South Shore, around half an hour later.
Mr Armfield died at Trinity Hospice in Bispham in the early hours of Monday, January 22, after a long fight against cancer. He was 82.
The humble hero captained Blackpool – to this day remaining their record appearance holder – and England, forming part of the World Cup winning squad in 1966.
He later trained as a journalist at The Gazette, before forging a successful career as a BBC broadcaster.
Outside of work he was a devoted family man, dear friend, and dedicated church-goer – playing the organ and acting as churchwarden and treasurer at St Peter’s, where his family and friends will gather later today.
The service will be broadcast on BBC Radio Lancashire, and played over the PA system at Bloomfield Road, where the Armfield Stand will be open for fans to pay their respects.
They are asked to sit at the bottom of the stand first, so the lettering can be kept clear. The west ‘Matthews’ stand will be opened if needed, the club said yesterday.
The cortege will enter the stadium in the north-east corner before driving down the side of the pitch and pausing beside the Armfield stand. It will then leave through the south-east corner.
The cortege will also stop at Mr Armfield’s statue in Bloomfield Road, where scores of tributes have been left since his death.
Although the funeral service will be a private affair, with fans asked to respect family wishes by paying their respects at Bloomfield Road, a memorial service will be arranged ‘for all those who loved Mr Armfield to celebrate his life’, funeral director Helen Ashmore said last week.