22-Jan-2018 12:45:39 | The Guardian
Blackpool and England footballer who was a member of the winning World Cup squad of 1966
Around the time of the World Cup quarter-finals in 1966, the footballer Jimmy Armfield, who has died aged 82, was asked what chance he thought England had of winning the tournament. He deliberated a moment, then answered – “slight”. In the event, when England did win, it was without Armfield, who did not get a game in that World Cup despite being an integral member of the squad. Although he was a powerful, mobile and adventurous right-back, injury cost him his berth in the team, and his place was taken by George Cohen.
Armfield had been one of England’s standout players for many years, performing with great distinction in the 1962 World Cup in Chile, where he was considered one of the best defenders in the tournament, and attracting admirers throughout the game. A colossus of Blackpool FC, which he captained for a decade, he won 43 caps for England, but the last was against Finland in Helsinki as part of a pre-World Cup 1966 tour. He did, however, eventually get a World Cup winners’ medal, following a campaign led by the Football Association that persuaded football’s governing body, Fifa, to award medals in 1996 to all of England’s squad members, not just those who took part in the final.