FOOTBALL fans paid tribute to former Bolton Wanderers manager Jimmy Armfield as his funeral cortege passed through Blackpool FC's Bloomfield Road ground in front of the stand bearing his name.

Former England captain Armfield, who made a club-record 627 appearances for Blackpool, died from cancer at the age of 82 on January 22.

Armfield took up the manager's job at Burnden Park on May 19, 1971 following the Whites’ relegation to the old Third Division for the first time in the club’s history.

Then aged 36, the former England international’s arrival was considered quite a footballing coup.

People began arriving outside the ground yesterday morning, many gathering at Armfield's statue on Bloomfield Road to lay tributes.

At 12pm, the funeral procession entered the ground, travelling down one touchline before pausing briefly in front of the Armfield Stand.

After a period of silence, there was a round of applause before the procession moved on.

The funeral service itself, at 12.30pm at St Peter's Church, was private but a live audio broadcast was arranged for those remaining at Bloomfield Road.

Those present included members of the current Blackpool squad and they, along with a number of the public, stayed to listen to the service.

They heard moving tributes paid to Armfield by his sons John and Duncan, and a eulogy read by Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.