The Football Business Awards, in association with Smith & Williamson, awarded James ‘Jimmy’ Armfield CBE, the king of the airwaves, this evening with the prestigious Global Football Ambassador accolade.
Jimmy made his debut for Blackpool, his home town, in 1954. Between 1954 and 1971 he played 627 games and spent a decade as the club’s captain. He represented England 43 times, being captain for 15 games, and was a member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad. After retiring from playing, he continued his lifelong love affair with football, as a manager, consultant to the FA and Coaching Technical Consultant to the Professional Footballers Association. He is currently a football pundit for BBC Radio 5 Live, a role he has fulfilled with energy for more than 30 years.
Jimmy Armfield CBE commented, “It’s a real honour to accept the award, especially as I am in such great company as Sir Trevor Brooking at Sir Bobby Charlton, two top footballers and two true ambassadors of our game. Football to them, and to me, has been a way of life, that’s why it is an honour to even be considered for this award.”
“For millions of football fans, Jimmy’s voice is immedi
ately recognisable,” commented Simon Burton, Co-Founder of the Football Business Awards. “We’re delighted to be honouring his contribution to the industry at the Football Business Awards.”
The Global Football Ambassador has only been won previously twice; by Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Trevor Brooking at the Football Business Awards in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
In addition to the Global Football Ambassador accolade, the Football Business Awards recognised many of the businesses and unsung heroes contributing to the football industry. Winners from the night included:
- FC Business CEO of the Year (Overall): Mark Catlin, Portsmouth FC
- NuCalm / fcbusiness European Football CEO 2016: Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, Atlético de Madrid
- Best Club Marketing Initiative – Premier League: Everton FC
- Best Club Marketing Initiative – Non-Premier League: Brighton & Hove Albion FC
- Best Football Club Hospitality: Manchester City FC
- Best / Most innovative use of Technology (non-Club): Kick It Out
- Best / Most Innovative use of Technology by a Club: Middlesbrough FC – adi.tv & Eleven Sports Media
- Best Business Serving Football – Up to £2m turnover: Goodform
- Best Business Serving Football – Over £2m turnover: StreamAMG
- Best Football Community Scheme – Premier League: Arsenal FC – The Arsenal Foundation
- Best Football Community Scheme – Non-Premier League: Albion in the Community (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)
- Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme: Sunderland AFC
- Best Match Day Experience: Cardiff City FC
- Best Non-Match Day Use of the Venue: The SPFL Trust – Various across the UK
- Best Professional Service Business Serving Football: KSS
- Agency of the Year: Seven League
- Best Fan Engagement by a Club: Everton FC
- Sponsorship Deal / Partnership of the Year: Prostate Cancer UK / League Managers Association
- Best Brand Activation Involving Football: BT Sport / UEFA Champions League
- Fcbusiness Premier League CEO of the Year: Ian Ayre, Liverpool FC
- Fcbusiness Championship CEO of the Year: Dean Hoyle, Huddersfield Town FC
- Fcbusiness League One CEO of the Year: Steve Curwood, Fleetwood Town FC
- Fcbusiness League Two CEO of the Year: Mark Catlin, Portsmouth FC
- Fcbusiness SPFL CEO of the Year: Ann Budge, Heart of Midlothian FC
Guests attending the ceremony at Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal FC, included Simone Zaza (West Ham United), Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United), Chiara Biasi (fashion blogger), Xenia Tchoumi (fashion blogger), Frank Sinclair (ex-player and football manager), Andrew Impey (ex-player and Academy Coach at Queen Park Rangers), Clinton Morrison (former football player), Danny Webber (former England player) and Paul Halls (former international football player).
For more information, including the full list of winners and highly commended, visit www.footballbusinessawards.com