JIMMY ARMFIELD was far more than an acclaimed footballer who was steadfastly loyal to his hometown club Blackpool and an integral member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team, despite a cruelly-timed injury robbing him of a place in Sir Alf Ramsey’s starting XI. He was also a successful manager – he guided Leeds United to the European Cup final – before becoming a much respected broadcaster.
One of football’s greatest ever gentlemen, he remained so grounded, and so measured, because of his humanity. He always found time for others – he played the organ at his local church – and his values shone through in his much-missed BBC radio broadcasts in which he provided a level of insight with a gravity and maturity that few have been able to match. His was a voice that had to be heard.
A fine footballer, it speaks volumes of Jimmy Armfield’s career on and off the pitch that he will be remembered as an even finer individual.