Holloway: The world's a sadder place without Blackpool great Jimmy Armfield

The world is a much sadder place without Blackpool legend Jimmy Armfield.

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 12:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 1:00 am
Jimmy Armfield and Ian Holloway

Read More

Read More
UPDATE: Sporting world mourns loss of Jimmy Armfield | Oystons lay flowers | Cha...

Holloway joined Armfield in Seasiders folklore by leading the club to the Premier League in 2010 and got to know him well during three and a half years at the club.

Ollie told The Gazette: “It was an absolute privilege to have met him and to have known him. The world’s a much sadder place without him. He was an absolute gentleman.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“With everything he achieved in life, he never changed who he was. He always thought about other people and cared about everybody. He had great pride in his area and amazing integrity.

“He’s one of the most fantastic human beings I’ve ever met in my life. It was an honour to have known him.

“I want to give my love to (Armfield’s widow) Anne because she’s in the same mould. She’s an absolutely wonderful person, who will do anything for you. It was a joy to have known the whole family.

“He had such a wonderful way about him, whoever he was speaking to. He engaged with you and it wouldn’t matter if he was talking to the King of Prussia. He could have had a cup of tea with The Queen and fitted right in. Or he could have been down the café with the locals. It wouldn’t have mattered with Jimmy – he was always the same.

“Some of the pearls of wisdom he came out with you wouldn’t believe.

"I remember him ringing me and thanking me for the days in the sun and for me that summed up how he felt about Blackpool.

“At that time we did have some marvelous days in the sun when every day felt like a party.

“Jim thanked me for how I felt about the area, so I knew how much it meant to him, so it’s a very sad loss for the whole of football.”

Of course it wasn’t just on the pitch where Armfield starred, he also impressed on the airwaves as a match-day summariser.

Holloway reveals he was also left surprised by his skills as a singer.

He added: “When he had some time in the media he was an absolute pleasure to listen to in terms of his knowledge and how he said it and what he said. But he never insulted anybody.

“I also remember going to church with him one Christmas and he just randomly got up and started to sing. I never knew he did that, but he had a beautiful voice.

“It’s quite amazing how he just took to singing. I don’t think there was one thing he couldn’t do.

“He was just one of those people who were so annoying because they could do absolutely anything.

“One time he told me he just likes life. That will forever stay with me because I think it sums him up. He was a very, very special human being.

“It’s not about how famous he is, it’s not about all the great things he did. It’s about what a great man he was every day of his life.

“Everything he said was always wise and it always helped, and I think that’s a dying art.”

Holloway and Armfield will forever be linked for that momentous promotion to the Premier League back in 2010.

“He always looked back on that promotion with great pride,” Holloway said.

“He loved our style of play and what we were trying to achieve. As he said at the time, it was about energy but he was a huge part of it all.

“The good thing is there’s a statue of him outside the ground. How many people get a statue before they pass away? So he certainly won’t be forgotten.”