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Harrison: No One Will Match Jimmy's Record

Former Full-Back Pays His Own Tribute

23 January 2018

Steve Harrison says Jimmy Armfield appearance record for Blackpool is one that will never be broken.

The former Pool full-back, who was an apprentice when Armfield played for the club, insists that 627 appearances over 17 years with one team will no longer occur in this day and age. 

"The mould has been broken now, there will be no one ever now who plays more than 600 games for one team. That will never happen again," he told the official website. 

It was in his formative years where Harrison, who played for the club throughout the 70s, recalls his best tale of meeting the player he idolised.

"My job was to prepare the baths before the game on a Saturday because I was an apprentice. I was 15 at the time – I’d been with the club for about three weeks – and I went in to the home team dressing room at lunchtime to sort the baths out. It was dark, but I saw Jimmy in the corner, he was sat there with a towel round his foot and a hose pipe. He was doing what we used to call hot and cold treatment. He lifted this towel up and his toe was like a Mazda lightbulb, bright red and sore.

"This was a fella who had played over 600 games. I asked Mr Armfield whether he was OK, and he said, ‘If I can get my boot on, I’ll play’. And he did, he played. He put cotton wool round everything and put his boot on while limping round the dressing room for three hours. I never thought about it at the time but his appetite, having played 600 games, was unbelievable."

Despite Jimmy Armfield's achievements on the field, it is the character of the person off it that has shone through in the tributes paid since his passing. 

"He was very generous with his time. When I was a coach at Aston Villa he would make a point of coming to see me when he was commentating at Villa Park. That was lovely because he didn’t need to do that.

"When I left Middlesbrough with some health problems, he rang me and asked whether he could do anything for me, apart from lend me money! That’s how humble the fella was," Harrison added. 

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