It required a hasty rewriting of Salut! Sunderland‘s rulebook, and comes a little late.
But the latest of our equivalent of the manager-of-the month awards – the Who are You? volunteer for December – goes to Jimmy Armfield, Blackpool legend and one of football’s most revered figures.
Jimmy’s answers to our questions ahead of the otherwise best-forgotten match between Sunderland and Blackpool on Dec 28 were priceless (sample: had he ever considered playing for SAFC instead of sticking with the Tangerines for his entire professional career? “No, Blackpool was cold enough, thank you!”), and the fact that he was willing to give them spoke volumes about the man.
Taking account, then, of Jimmy’s interests away from the game, we came up with what we hope will be a suitable prize.
Once we get hold of his address, he will become the owner of none other than a hardback edition of Memorials of the Bolton Parish Church Organs: Including Special Sermons by and Biographical Sketches of the Preachers (1882) by James Christopher Scholes. What else could it have been? Except something from a Blackpool parish church – apologies, Jimmy, for missing the target by 28 miles.
To read or re-read the Jimmy Armfield interview, click here.
The rule we turned a blind eye to was the one stipulating that Who are You? prizes should not be won by people who write for a living. Football commentary and punditry – even as enjoyable as Jimmy’s – could at a stretch be included in that description, and he has written for newspapers. Such rules are made to be bent.