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Daily offers last farewell to footballer, journalist and ‘man of the people’

A regional daily marked the funeral of an international footballer who also worked for the newspaper with a front page image made up of individual pictures of him.

The Gazette, Blackpool, ran the special ‘mosaic’ front yesterday as the seaside town paid its respects to former Blackpool and England player Jimmy Armfield, who died last month aged 82.

Dozens of pictures of Jimmy, who spent nine years at The Gazette writing about sport on a part-time basis, were used to create the main image.

Editor Gillian Parkinson said The Gazette “wanted to show Jimmy as what he was – a man of the people”.

Jimmy Armfield

She told HTFP: “He wasn’t just a footballer or a sports commentator to the people of Blackpool, he was a man who was very involved in the local community, in charity work and supporting local organisations.

“Deputy editor Andy Sykes had the idea of using pictures of him to create one front page image. Then our communities editor Mike Hill suggested we use not just the pictures of him playing, but also those at cheque presentations, local sporting and charity events to represent all facets of his life.

Tim Hopkinson in the Johnston Press design hub brought it to life in a fabulous way. We thought it was a great way of paying our own tribute to Jimmy on the day the town said its final farewell.”