Hundreds of pounds have already been given to the hospice that cared for Jimmy Armfield in his final days – and plans to honour Blackpool’s record appearance holder today are expected to see a new surge in donations.
Staff at Trinity Hospice in Bispham, where Jimmy was also president, have seen kind-hearted gifts come in from across the country since the 82-year-old’s death was announced on Monday, and estimate around £1,000 has been given by well-wishers.
Blackpool FC announced it would donate the proceeds from home tickets sold since Monday for today’s league game against Charlton at Bloomfield Road.
Volunteers from Trinity will be inside the stadium collecting for the charity, while new chief executive Sam Oyston this week called and said he would arrange for some of the patients at the Low Moor Road hospice to watch the game from a box.
Some fans, determined to stay away as part of the ‘Not A Penny More Campaign’ in protest against the way they believe the club is being run, said they will instead donate directly to Trinity as they honour the former Pool and England captain outside the ground at 2.30pm.
Linzi Young, head of fundraising at Trinity has previously said: “People will choose their own way to remember Jim and celebrate his life, but the fact the hospice which was so close to his heart will benefit, is a fitting tribute to him”.
She added. “A lot of people are doing it because they are fans of Blackpool and watched Jimmy growing up, or admired him in his later days.
“People remember him being such a gent and said they had to pick up the phone to pay or give online. The tributes are really touching.”
Trinity never charges for its care, which costs over £7 million a year to provide – the majority of which is funded through donations. The NHS provides around £2.5 million.
How club will honour hero
Blackpool FC said they plan to honour their former skipper, who made a record 627 appearances, before kick-off against Charlton this afternoon.
Three of Jimmy’s favourite songs will play, while the players will head out onto the pitch around 10 minutes earlier, wearing ‘Armfield 2’ T-shirts, to form a guard of honour.
Wreaths will be placed behind the goal, in front of the Jimmy Armfield stand, by a delegate that will include the managers of both teams.
Two speeches – by Rev. Michael Ward and Tony Parr – will be made, and a minute’s applause will also be held.