Fans make their personal tributes to legend Jimmy

Fans continue to honour Blackpool's most famous son.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 8th February 2018, 7:37 am
Updated Thursday, 8th February 2018, 7:40 am
Wellwishers have left scores of tributes to Jimmy Armfield at his statue at Bloomfield Road
Wellwishers have left scores of tributes to Jimmy Armfield at his statue at Bloomfield Road

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Latest updates as tributes continue to pour in for Blackpool FC and England lege...

Glenn Bowley was chairman of the Blackpool Supporters Association between 2006-2015 and helped spearhead the campaign to honour Jimmy with a statue up to 2011.

Fans help raise £75,000 with the Oyston family contributing £30,000 towards the plinth and plaques.

Wellwishers have left scores of tributes to Jimmy Armfield at his statue at Bloomfield Road

He said: “There are just too many memories and stories to tell about an incredible iconic football man, a community hero and the greatest ambassador this town will ever have.

“It’s a sad sad loss for football but especially Blackpool Football Club and the Fylde Coast.

“Jimmy did so much for the community; a community that he loved and a community that loved him.

“His love and passion for Blackpool was special. It was his team, his club and his town. When I used to speak to him on the phone the first thing he would ask me was about our latest result.

Glenn Bowley pictured with Jimmy when the two officially opened the Hall of Fame at Blackpool FC.

“He would want a ball by ball account of the match and my thoughts on the performance and outlook for the season.

“I remember speaking to him after England had lost in Euro 2006, and like most England supporters I was bitterly disappointed. He said, “Son, it doesn’t matter.

Blackpool are much more important than England.” That was him, Blackpool through and through.

“He wasn’t just a legend he was more than that.

Wellwishers have left scores of tributes to Jimmy Armfield at his statue at Bloomfield Road

“He was noble, unassuming, kind and so generous with his time.

“He had a love for people. He was genuinely interested in folk and whereas you wanted to talk about him he wanted to talk about you. To be loved by every generation shows the profound effect he had on people.

“I feel so privileged to have known him and proud that the fans came together to raise the money for his statue.

At the time he wasn’t so keen as I think he thought that these things should only happen once you have passed.

Wellwishers have left scores of tributes to Jimmy Armfield at his statue at Bloomfield Road

“However, it was really important to us that he unveiled the statue, surrounded by his family, friends and an army of people who admired his extraordinary contribution to society.

“I know too, that not only was he honoured to have “Big Jim” but truly humbled that it was the supporters of his beloved Blackpool that paid for it.

“The full time whistle may have blown on the life of an incredible human being, a man who gave so much and expected so little.

A man who may not be a sandgrown’un but a man who will always be Blackpool’s favourite son.

“Our hero, our role model our Jimmy Armfield.”

Fiona Martin, current chairman of BSA, said: “BSA is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our President Jimmy Armfield CBE.

Glenn Bowley pictured with Jimmy when the two officially opened the Hall of Fame at Blackpool FC.

“Jimmy will be remembered fondly by all Blackpool fans for his passion and love for the club, as well as being a complete gentleman and he will be missed terribly.

“Jimmy was always a proud supporter of all things tangerine and the statue erected on the corner of Bloomfield Road in 2011 will forever remind us all of his contribution to the football club, the town and the community dating back well over half a century.

“The thoughts of all Blackpool supporters are with Jimmy’s family and friends during this sad time.”

Your tributes to Jimmy Armfield

“How do I describe Jimmy?

“A friend, a neighbour, a gentleman, an ambassador of British Football, a town hero ... Jimmy was Jimmy,

“He was a little boy in short trousers who moved into the Grocers shop up the road from my mum when his parents first moved to Blackpool, later my dad introduced him to Great Eccleston Cricket Club where he became a regular team member, then the family became my next door neighbours. Jimmy, Anne, Duncan and John have somehow always been a part of my family’s life. He was the type of person who would do anything for anyone, he would always have time for a chat, give advice, be a friend and after the death of my dad, he was always there to keep an eye on my mum.

A few months ago my mum sadly passed and despite his declining health, Jimmy still gave his support to my brother and I and attended her funeral, they were long time friends, the type who only come by once every blue moon.

Jimmy you were a star through and through and not just on the football pitch, I’m going to miss our chats over the garden wall, I’m going to miss that mischievous smile, take care my angel.

Jane Tyson

So very sad to hear of Jimmy’s passing. What a great man not only on the football field but throughout the town, county and his country where he did so much for all.

How was he not knighted?

Colin McGown

Has any other footballer captained their country, managed at the highest level, been a respected journalist in print and radio, helped pick national managers and found time to serve their community for decades?

Such a shame that, given the state the club is in at the moment, it’s likely the local footballing community will not have an obvious opportunity to come together to pay tribute at a game

Steve Dunthorne

Never saw him play but loved listening to him on the radio.

Phil Halshaw

Thanks Jimmy, an amazing ambassador for Blackpool and the game of football itself.

It is a measure of a man that he is so universally loved and respected in the world of football, where rivalries and loyalties make it so divisive.

We probably won’t see the likes of him again, but I truly hope we do.

Ed Mahon

Truly saddened about this.

He was a football legend but, to me, he was the church organist who always had a kind word.

Barbara Wilkie

As a young lad growing up in the west of Ireland I have fond memories of listening to your commentaries and opinions on a crackling old radio on cold winter nights.

A throwback to a different time, your opinions were never sugar coated and always forthright. Rest easy now Sir.

Ciaran Farrell

What a lovely guy and gentleman.

It was good to have met him especially at the function he spoke at (which I filmed) talking about his time at Leeds and England prior to the BFC v LUFC match a few years back.

He had some great stories

Ange La

Met him on a number of occasions and was privileged to be able to sponsor both his pictures at the ground.

A true gentleman and a passionate and truly gifted footballer.

For my money casting a bigger shadow for this club than any other player including Matthews and Morty.

Steven Armitage

RIP Jimmy you were such a wonderful person a true gentlemen.

You loved playing the organ at St Peter’s Church...and that is where I will remember you from you were ‘our Jimmy the organist’.

Condolences to your wonderful family at this very sad time

Sarah Love-Hallam

The voice of football with his knowledge of the game, his loyality to one club is a rarity, he must have enjoyed Blackpool’s brief stint at the top but not so much the fortunes of the club in the last few years, thoroughly deserves the accolades and the naming of a stand after him.

Seán Diver

Jimmy and I were in the same class at Revoe Infants, even at that early age he stood out as a leader, the teacher called on Jimmy to carry everyone’s paper salvage in the war to take to the caretakers shed to store.

Happy memories

Mary Smith

Coached us at soccer at Arnold Juniors in Horncliffe Road, c60-64.

Never forget him!

To think we had the England 1962 World Cup Captain at our school....childhood hero!

Bryan Michael Neal

My first memory of Jimmy wasn’t as a footballer but as my church organist at St Peter’s Church - it was a great pleasure to have known you, my thoughts are with Anne and family

Keith Hilton

I had the privilege of looking after him for a short time and can only say he was a true gentleman and took everything in his stride.

Christine Weaver

Jimmy always represented himself and BFC with integrity and dignity.

Blackpool as a town has lost a great ambassador. Condolences to all his family.

Norman Agnew

Absolutely devastating news.

Such a true gentleman in every way possible.

Adele Openshaw

I met him a few times in the 60s and remember him with great affection.

Daphne Mather

Ken was his postman –shared many cups tea and football stories, so very sad

Patricia Bowden

Ah, he played the organ at my wedding many years ago, lovely man

Sarah Johnson

He was so down to earth yet “Great Northern bloke” doesn’t do him justice - he was way more special than that.

Phil Cunliffe

I am privileged to have been able to have watched Jimmy playing through the 60s when I was growing up.

He was respected by everyone for his skills on the pitch and later as an ambassador for football and for Blackpool and beyond.

Dave Nuttall

A great man.

So loyal. I remember him being asked by Joe Smith to play centre forward in one match because Ray Charnley was injured. Of course, he accepted the challenge


Saturday afternoons won’t be the same without his insightful commentary

Mark Schofield

Jim was the one who coached me for my England Coaching Badge to take to Australia. He was the best attacking full back ever.

Martin Hindley

Watched him play many times greatest wing back of his time, went on an FA coaching course run by Jimmy and Tony Waiters at Stanley Park - sad loss to the world of football.

Brian Stamford

I remember him at St Peter’s Church on Lytham Road when I was going to girl guides.

He was always at the church services and did a lot for the church.

My grandson has his name down for the Armfield Academy new school also named after the great man

Kay Whittle

Jimmy visited a lady whom was celebrating her 100th birthday at the care home I work at.

Thinking of his family at this sad time.

Tracey Marie Cathie

Too good in life to be forgotten in death.

Marilyn Clarke

I always remember the bus trips back from a Friday night out in Poulton with none other than Jimmy sat there chatting away like one of the lads.

A true gentleman and great footballer

Paul McCherry

As a Leeds United fan who with some others cleaned Man Utd graffiti off the walls at Elland Road, you said if all fans were like us there’d be no problem.

You always had time for us fans even coming out to talk to us at your garden gate in the 70s. I had the pleasure of speaking to you on the phone when we last played Blackpool after being given a photo of you and Dave Cocker after getting your World Cup winners medal and as you were commentating unfortunately I didn’t get to see you.

My memories will always be with me of being there in Paris at the European Cup Final in 1975 where we were robbed of our rightful title; we will always be Champions of Europe!

Heidi Haigh

A lovely guy, folk forget it was Jimmy and not the great Don Revie that took my beloved Leeds United to the European Cup Final – that act alone shows the true skill and value as a manager. Still say he could have led England.

Thoughts go to his family.

Dave Morris

When he came in the cafe, he had an aura about him that the staff bent over backwards to look after him.

He was courteous to everyone whether they were staff or customers who just wanted to say hello.

When I used to sit and have a chat with him the memories were just amazing.

As I am here in Gran Canaria now, my daughter text me yesterday morning and with a tear in my eye. I was just grateful to have known a wonderful human being

Sean Gallagher

Let’s pack Bloomfield Road to the rafters to show them (the Oystons) just what Blackpool FC means to everybody.

Trinity Hospice was very dear to Jimmy’s heart and it would be quite fitting to demonstrate to the world just how much Jimmy meant to Blackpool FC.

Maurice McDonnell

A deeply committed Anglican Christian and a true gentleman.

This country could do with more like him. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.

Ian Hollin

Wellwishers have left scores of tributes to Jimmy Armfield at his statue at Bloomfield Road