Jimmy Armfield: The manager

Armfield retired in 1971 and immediately took over as manager of third-tier Bolton Wanderers.

Monday, 22nd January 2018, 10:36 am
Updated Monday, 22nd January 2018, 12:30 pm
Jimmy Armfield with goalkeeper Iain Hesford, while helping out with coaching at Blackpool after losing his manager's job at Leeds

They won promotion under Armfield, who turned down an offer from Everton before eventually joining Leeds in 1974, walking into the club in the aftermath of Brian Clough's infamous 44 days in charge at Elland Road.

The following year they reached the European Cup final, losing a controversial match 2-0 against Bayern Munich.

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Referee Michel Kitabdjian turned down two strong penalty appeals against Franz Beckenbauer and ruled out an Allan Clarke goal for offside.

Leeds fans rioted in the stadium and the club were given a four-year ban from Europeancompetition.

"I let Maurice Lindley - the assistant manager - pick the team for the first match after my appointment as Leeds boss,” Armfield told BBC Sport.

"We sat down in somewhere near Roundhay Park and he said his words. I watched the players and I could tell they were looking at me.

"Eventually I said: "ll just say one thing to you. I will not make my mind up about you all until I've been here a bit of time. I'm the total opposite of Brian. Just answer me one question, why is this title-wining team full of internationals next to the bottom of the table?"

"The following year, in the European Cup final, I could not have asked more of the players.

"I turned at one point to our physio Bob English and said that I hope we finish with a draw. When he asked why I said: "I don't think we are going to win this one."

"Afterwards I was livid. I was upset for the players. They left their medals in the dressing room. I picked them all up and gave them to them when it all settled down.

"I didn't want to believe that - all the talk about the referee. I'll never know if he was got at.

"I went to the board and said we should appeal against our ban. They told me I was wasting my time. Nobody wanted to do it.

"So I got my air ticket and went off to Geneva. A journalist went with me. Everyone thought I had no chance but I got it reduced to two years. At least the secretary paid my air fare back"

Armfield left Leeds in 1978.

There were offers from teams such as Newcastle United, Chelsea and Athletic Bilbao but it turned out to be the end of his managerial career.