Jimmy Armfield remembered: "You don’t really think about it until you need it. And when you need it, Trinity is there for you"

Jimmy Armfield at the Trinity Hospice 30th Anniversary Ball in 2015.
Jimmy Armfield at the Trinity Hospice 30th Anniversary Ball in 2015.
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Jimmy Armfield was involved in more charities than Duncan and John can remember.

It says a lot about him that he was arguably as well known on the Fylde coast for his charity work as he was as a footballer.

Jimmy doing a reading at Trinitys 25th Anniversary

Jimmy doing a reading at Trinitys 25th Anniversary

He died in Trinity Hospice a year ago today.

Plans are in place now to create a lasting legacy, possibly in the form of a foundation, between Jimmy’s family and Trinity Hospice, which he and wife Anne helped set up.

Duncan: ‘Mum and Dad helped to set it up, they raised money, many hundreds of thousands.

‘It’s a very apt charity to get behind because it meant a lot to them.’

Tree of Lights Festival at Trinity Hospice. Hospice president Jimmy Armfield, clinical director Julie Huttley and chief executive David Houston

Tree of Lights Festival at Trinity Hospice. Hospice president Jimmy Armfield, clinical director Julie Huttley and chief executive David Houston

John: ‘Mum identified it, as well as a few other medical people at Blackpool Vic because people were dying of cancer on general wards.

‘Mum said it just wasn’t the place to die.

‘She was put in a fortunate position that she had access to the consultants and she had the family name, I guess.’

D: ‘Dad was fully supportive of it since that moment. Her mother died of cancer. My grandfather died of cancer. My mother’s father died of cancer. So it’s very near to everyone in our family.’

Artist and BFC fan Robert Purdon also sold prints of Jimmy Armfield being greeted by Pool legends of the past at the Pearly Gates, with proceeds going to Trinity Hospice

Artist and BFC fan Robert Purdon also sold prints of Jimmy Armfield being greeted by Pool legends of the past at the Pearly Gates, with proceeds going to Trinity Hospice

‘It’s very near to everybody’s heart.’

‘For us we want to keep dad’s name alive so it aids charities to raise funds to raise their profile. Whether that is Trinity or any charity Dad was involved in, we are happy.

‘Trinity seems to be the one that is at the forefront of our minds at the moment.

‘They are amazing people, doing amazing things at a very difficult time. All I can talk about is what they did for our Dad and my family and put him at rest and at ease.

David Houston

David Houston

‘They made us feel incredibly welcome. They helped us as much as they could.

‘The football club donated the gate receipts for one of the games.

‘We handed the cheque over and it was £28,000.’

J: ‘Trinity were so good to us, they couldn’t have done anymore. I was there the year before, we lost my wife’s stepmother, she passed away in Trinity as well. It’s just a wonderful place really.

‘The amount of money it must cost to run you don’t really think about it until you need it.

‘And when you need it, it is there for you. And the day it is not there for us will be a very. very sad day.’

The Armfield Stand

The Armfield Stand

What a legacy

The total amount raised for Trinity in Jimmy’s memory over the last year £29,436.91

‘In Memory Of’ donations £13,177.58

Blackpool Football Club £13,158.59

Blackpool Supporters Trust:

Scarves Sales £2,590.74

Jimmy Armfield T-Shirt Raffle £510

The ‘In Memory Of’ donation total of £13,177,58 included...

Blackpool Supporters Association £660

FA Premier League £1,000

Individuals, Glasdons and Poulton Youth FC £990

Collection Tin from the memorial service at Blackpool FC £4,735

Collection at Blackpool FC £407.96

‘His commitment lasted’

Trinity chief executive David Houston said: “Jimmy really has left a lasting legacy here at Trinity Hospice.

“He was an important figure for the hospice, and his passion for the work we do right from the foundation of Trinity has survived in his memory.

“Right from the early days of building a hospice for the Fylde coast Jimmy and his wife Anne pledged their support and are named in our Founders Book. That commitment lasted right up until Jimmy’s final days, and even today lives on through his family and his fans from around the country.

“To have raised so much money in his name in the last year is absolutely incredible, and is testament to the kind, insightful and honest man he was. Jimmy meant a great deal to us all and we are delighted to be working with Duncan and John.”

Honoured over and over

In May 2011, a 9ft high statue of Jimmy was erected outside the main entrance to the club’s Bloomfield Road ground.

The statue shows Jimmy in his 20s and was created by sculptor Les Johnson at his workshop in Hampshire.

It was funded by Blackpool Supporters’ Association, which raised £75,000 through fundraising.

The South Stand at Bloomfield Road, which was opened in March 2010, is named the “Jimmy Armfield South Stand” with ARMFIELD spelled out in white seats among the tangerine majority.

He was immortalised with a blue plaque at Revoe Primary School, which he attended, with Duncan and John helping cut the ribbon.

And the Armfield Academy, which replaced the old Arnold School, was opened in September last year.

John: ‘He wasn’t sure about the school being named after him but I said ‘What have you got to lose?’

Duncan: ‘That’s what I said too, exactly the same. Just do it.’

J: ‘I said I would ring them and tell them - what he didn’t want was for them to think he was pushing for it.’

J: ‘The statue he was thrilled with - anything to do with sport he thrived upon.’

D: ‘The statue touched him deeply because it was the fans who raised the money.’

J: ‘Anything to do with supporters was massive to him.’

D: ‘He would do anything for the supporters, anything.’

J: ‘Him and Morty were involved in the supporters’ club for years.

‘He was president I think and my Dad was chairman.’

Jimmy inspects his statue

Jimmy inspects his statue

Gordon Taylor from the PFA with Duncan and John Armfield

Gordon Taylor from the PFA with Duncan and John Armfield