Pool honour Armfield as stand opens

HIS name was sung from the terraces – now it is being chanted from his own stand.

Seasiders' great Jimmy Armfield was all smiles as he was given the honour of opening Blackpool FC's new South Stand – the Armfield Stand.

The 74-year-old former Seasiders' and England captain unveiled a plaque at a special ceremony before Saturday's highly charged Championship clash with Crystal Palace.

Mr Armfield, who was visibly moved, said it was a special day for him and his family.

"It's quite emotional," he said. "It seems a long time since I started to play for Blackpool back in the 1950s.

"There's been a lot of great lads playing for the Tangerines before and since then.

"I'd like to thank the club for this honour."

As the Bloomfield Road hero – known affectionately by fans as "Sir Jimmy" – cut the ribbon on the turnstiles, supporters standing outside spontaneously began chanting "there's only one Jimmy Armfield."

Club owner Owen Oyston said the day would not have happened were it not been for the support of Latvian president Valery Belokon.

Mr Oyston said: "It's an exciting time. Jimmy Armfield is a giant among men, not just for what he has done for the football club, but for the town.

"It's a privilege to name a great stand after a great man."