Tributes Paid After Former England Captain Jimmy Armfield Dies Aged 82

Former England captain Jimmy Armfield has died from cancer at the age of 82, Blackpool FC announced on Monday (January 22).

Armfield, a right-back, played 43 times for his country, between 1959 and 1966, as well as a record 627 appearances for Blackpool. He went on to manage Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United, and then worked as a broadcaster for 35 years.

Tributes have been made from the world of football and media. Armfield, from Greater Manchester, was a member of England's 1966 World Cup-winning squad but didn't feature in the final due to a toe injury. He was given a winners' medal by FIFA 43 years later.

The Football Association offered its condolences. "We are saddened to hear that former Blackpool FC and England skipper Jimmy Armfield has passed away," a tweet read. "Our thoughts are with his friends & family at this time."

Gordon Taylor, head of the Professional Footballers' Association, said that football is "much diminished with our loss." He described Armfield as a "national hero and football legend."

"He had time for everybody and made the world a better place with his love for life and all his many activities for his charities, hospitals, his church and his devotion to his wife Anne, his sons Duncan and John and their wives and his grandchildren."

Jimmy Armfield
Jimmy Armfield at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, circa 1962. Armfield played over 500 games for Blackpool and 43 times for England. Don Morley/Allsport UK/Getty

Match of the Day pundits Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer also remembered him on the social media website. "Saddened to hear that Jimmy Armfield has passed away," Lineker wrote.

"A wonderful footballer and England captain who went on to be a terrific broadcaster of the game he loved, and, most importantly, he was a delightful man. He'll be much missed."

Shearer recalled Armfield's character. "You couldn't wish to meet a warmer, more engaging man than Jimmy Armfield. A proper football man and a gentleman."

Armfield also wrote for the Daily Express newspaper and worked as a co-commentator on BBC radio, and then later for Radio 2 and 5 Live. Stories from his time as both player and broadcaster have been shared.

At a 1999 England press conference, caretaker manager Howard Wilkinson reacted angrily to the suggestions that he lacked international experience. "How many England caps have you lot got between you?" he asked.

Armfield, working for 5 Live that day, called out from the back of the room: "43."

Armfield captained England for 15 matches and Blackpool for 10 years. Blackpool council have said flags are flying at half-mast at the town hall.