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Former England and Blackpool footballer Jimmy Armfield dies aged 82

Jimmy Armfield spent his entire career at Blackpool. Credit: PA

Former England and Blackpool defender Jimmy Armfield has died aged 82 following a long battle with cancer, his family have confirmed.

Armfield, who was a member of the 1966 World Cup-winning squad, was diagnosed with cancer for the second time last year.

He played for Blackpool throughout his club career, appearing 627 times.

Born in Manchester, Armfield played 43 times for England, including 15 as captain.

After retiring from playing in 1971, he became manager of Bolton Wanderers, leading them to promotion from the Third Division.

Armfield would then replace Brian Clough as Leeds manager in 1974, taking Leeds to the European Cup final, which they lost to Bayern Munich.

Jimmy Armfield has passed away. Credit: PA

In more recent times, Armfield became a well-respected pundit, working for 35 years for BBC radio.

A family statement read: "After a long and courageous battle, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and father-in-law Jimmy Armfield, has passed away peacefully surrounded by his immediate family.

"At this time we are still in shock as we begin the grieving process. We know Jimmy was a public figure, but the family respectfully ask for privacy at this time.

"We have many wonderful messages of love and support, for which we are grateful, and moved by all the kind words.

Armfield is a Blackpool legend. Credit: PA

"We would also like to thank all the magnificent and dedicated NHS staff who have kept Jimmy, and the family, as well as possible over the ten years of his illness.

"During the last few days Trinity Hospice in Blackpool made a big difference to Jimmy as he slipped away, pain free at last.

"Jimmy had two great loves, first and foremost was his family, to which he was devoted and loved dearly. The other was football, especially Blackpool, England and his colleagues at the PFA.

"Once again, the family extends its thanks as we try to come to terms in a world without Jimmy."

Former England and West Ham United player Sir Trevor Brooking said: "Jim was the ultimate gentleman, he had a really lovely manner about him and I think that’s why people enjoyed listening to him.

"He’s a huge loss as a person as much as a footballer.”