By 90Min
January 22, 2018

Blackpool legend and England World Cup winner Jimmy Armfield has sadly passed away at the age of 82, his former club have confirmed on Monday morning.

Right-back Armfield spent his entire professional career with Blackpool between 1954 and 1971 after being spotted playing a local practice match by then Tangerines manager Joe Smith.

A pioneer of the 'overlapping full-back' role, Armfield was paired on the right flank with legendary winger Sir Stanley Matthews during the first half of his career.

By the time he hung up his boots after 17 years, Armfield had played 627 games for the club. That number remains a Blackpool record to this day and is never likely to be broken.

With Blackpool firmly established as a top team in England in the 1950s and early 1960s, Armfield, who was club captain for 10 years, was widely recognised as one of the best players in the country.

He is said to have narrowly missed out on the prestigious FWA Footballer of the Year award in 1966, losing out to Manchester United star Sir Bobby Charlton.

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Armfield made his senior England debut in 1959 and went on to be a star of the 1962 World Cup in Chile, eventually won by Garrincha's Brazil. He was part of the victorious Three Lions squad on home sold four years later, but didn't play as a result of injury.

Due to restrictive FIFA rules at the time, Armfield, who collected 43 international caps in total, didn't receive a winner's medal and it was 43 long years before he and others in the squad who didn't feature in the final were finally recognised.

After retirement, Armfield briefly went into management, taking charge of Bolton Wanderers and earning promotion to the second tier. Upon taking over from Brian Clough at Leeds after the infamous '44 days', he guided the club to the 1975 European Cup final, losing to Bayern Munich.

Armfield left a successful management career behind in 1978 after just seven years and began media work. He was later inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2008, the same year that he won a PFA Merit award for his service to football.

The south stand at Blackpool's Bloomfield Road stadium was renamed in Armfield's honour in 2010, while a statue outside was unveiled in 2011.

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