Tributes are pouring in for Blackpool legend Jimmy Armfield, who has died aged 82.
Blackpool fan and former mayor Robert Wynne said: “I’m shocked and heartbroken as like many, I wasn’t aware he was so ill.
“There will be a lot of people talking about his football the fact he played for just one team but what is important to us here is that he stayed loyal to the town and in particularly South Shore,
“He could have moved elsewhere but never moved from South Shore. He knew what was important in life. He should have been Sir Jimmy but he was awarded and MBE and CBE - one for services to football but also services to the community.
“He actively got involved in charities and organisations and he was a really good example of what impact you can have on your community and the people within it. Others did it for the limelight - not Jimmy.
“He was captain of England in 1965 and without getting injured he would probably have been the captain in the World Cup winning side. But he just shrugged it off and saidn ‘that’s life’.
“He was just a great guy.”
Jimmy’s former school, Arnold in South Shore, is to be transformed and be renamed the Armfield Academy in honour of the past pupil.
Tony Nicholson, chief executive of of The Fylde Coast Academy Trust, which will run the school, said: “The Fylde Coast Academy Trust is extremely saddened to hear of Jimmy’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.
“We know that Jimmy was thrilled and honoured that our new academy is to be named after him, in recognition of his tremendous contribution to our Blackpool communities.
“The Armfield Academy will open in September on the former Arnold School site, where Jimmy was a pupil and in later years a Governor.
“We will continue to remember his great service and passion for the education and encouragement of young people.”
The flag at Blackpool Council will fly at half mast.
A resolution of condolence will be made at Full Council meeting next week.
Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn said: “The whole town will join me in mourning the loss of Jimmy. Although he was rightly famous for his long career at Bloomfield Road, and as an England international, he also played a much wider role in the town.
“As a Freeman of the Borough, as the Organist at St Peter’s Church on Lytham Road, as a Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire, and as a devoted husband and father.
“On a personal level, I found him to be charming, articulate, thoughtful, and a great ambassador for our town.
“We shall all miss him terribly.”
Radio Wave breakfast show presenter Hayley Kay said: “I was lucky enough to host several charity events with Jimmy over the years, such a gentleman and a legend in every way.”
Squires Gate FC said: “A genuine, gentle, down to earth man we had the pleasure of welcoming Jimmy Armfield to our Sportsman’s Dinner a few years ago. He had the audience hooked from minute one telling tales of his time with Blackpool and England.”
David Anderson said: “Unlike today’s former pros who think they only have to pick up a mic to become part of the media, Jimmy went off after he retired and studied to become a fully-qualified journalist - and a damn fine one too.
“Says much about the class of the man.”
Wendy Swift, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear about the death of Jimmy Armfield CBE.
“As well as being a football legend Jimmy was a lovely, caring man who played a massive part in the health community of the Fylde coast.
“He was a Non Executive Director with the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Community Health Services Trust and a Non Executive Director with the Blackpool Hospitals Trust. In both roles he always put patients first.
“In recent years he was a great supporter of the Altogether Now health campaign for Blackpool, backed our Blue Skies Hospitals charity and officially opened the Dementia Corridor at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
“He was also instrumental in raising the profile of our health services, bringing celebrities such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton to support local NHS events.
“He leaves an amazing legacy and I know all the staff, governors and volunteers across all Fylde coast health services would want us to thank him for his support.
“We would like to express our deepest sympathies to his wife Ann, his sons and his family.
“He will be a huge loss.”