Bowyer: Blackpool have to win for Jimmy

Gary Bowyer believes victory against Charlton Athletic this afternoon would be a fitting tribute to Jimmy Armfield
Gary Bowyer believes victory against Charlton Athletic this afternoon would be a fitting tribute to Jimmy Armfield

Gary Bowyer says it would be a fitting tribute to Jimmy Armfield if his Blackpool side could claim all three points in today’s game against Charlton Athletic.

Blackpool welcome the Addicks to Bloomfield Road this afternoon for what will be their first game since the passing of Armfield on Monday morning at the age of 82.

The club’s record appearance holder, who also represented England on 43 occasions, was someone the manager grew close to following his appointment in June 2016.

Bowyer said: “He was there to offer help straight away and whenever we chatted he just told me ‘do your best, that’s all you can ever do’.

“That’s exactly what we’ll be saying to the players on Saturday, just go out and do your best for Jimmy. It would be lovely and a fitting tribute from the staff and the players if we won.

“He wouldn’t be wanting all the fuss. He told me the story when they were building the statue and he felt a bit embarrassed by it all.

“He would be saying: ‘what’s all this fuss about? Get on with it, it’s a game of football’.”

A delegation, including Bowyer and his Charlton counterpart Karl Robinson, will lay wreaths in front of the Armfield Stand prior to a minute’s applause before kick-off.

“It will be emotional laying the wreath because of the impact he had on me as a person,” Bowyer admitted.

“We’ve just got to conduct ourselves the best we can as a club.”