Growth type: Standard/Lasting
Jimmy Armfield OBE was born on September 21st, 1935 in Denton. After his family moved to Blackpool from Denton, he was spotted in a practice match at Bloomfield Road by the then Tangerines manager, Joe Smith. Smith, impressed, offered him a trial. On December 27th, 1954, Jimmy made his Blackpool debut at Portsmouth. Between 1954 and 1971 he played 569 games, scored 6 goals, and spent a decade as the club's captain. Jimmy was voted their Young Player of the Year in 1959.
In 1966, he narrowly missed out on the Footballer of the Year title to Bobby Charlton, and had to content himself with being Blackpool's Player of the Year. He endured little success in his seventeen years with the Seasiders, the club having won the FA Cup the year prior to his arrival. The exception was promotion to Division One in 1969/70. Jimmy won 43 caps for England between 1959 and 1966 and captained his country on fifteen occasions. He made his international debut on May 13, 1959, against Brazil in front of over 120,000 fans.
He played in the 1962 World Cup in Chile, where he was acclaimed as "the best right-back in the world" (he was also voted "best right-back in Europe" between 1962 and 1964). He was included in the 1966 World Cup-winning squad but missed out on the tournament through injury and would of actually gone on to captain England instead of Bobby Moore. He played his final game for Blackpool on May 1, 1971, against Manchester United at Bloomfield Road.
Jimmy Armfield was undoubtedly one of the very best full backs to ever pull on the England shirt . He brought a new dimension to the game with his overlapping runs down the wing, by utilizing the space in front of him when teams used to put two markers on Stanley Matthews. His main attributes were speed, superb distribution, outstanding tackling and an enormous capacity for hard work.
Time and time again, especially during the team's difficult days in the 1960's he would somehow find an extra ounce of energy when all seemed lost, and in turn motivate the men around him.
This was one of the many things that made him a great captain, not only for Blackpool but also England. He developed the overlap, so loved by defenders nowadays to such an art form that fans used to flock to the grounds to see him in action and in the late 1950's struck a partnership with the great Stanley Matthews that would mesmerise opposing markers.
569 Appearances for Blackpool
43 International Caps
World Cup 1966
Voted best right back in Europe: 1962, 1964
(Friendly vs Italy 1961)
http://www.nationalfootballmuseum.com/p ... mfield.htm
http://www.givemefootball.com/player-pr ... y-armfield