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Jimmy Bloomfield

Personal information
Full nameJames Henry Bloomfield
Date of birth15 February 1934
Place of birthNotting Hill, North Kensington, London W11, England
Date of death3 April 1983(age 49)
Place of deathChingford, England
Playing positionInside forward

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James Henry "Jimmy" Bloomfield (15 February 1934 3 April 1983) was an English football player and manager.

Born in Notting Hill, North Kensington, London, Bloomfield started his career at non-league Hayes before joining Second Division side Brentford in October 1952. After Brentford were relegated in 1954, Bloomfield was snapped up by Arsenal for £8,000 as a replacement for Jimmy Logie.

Bloomfield made his debut at the start of the season, against Everton on 25 August 1954, though he only played 19 times that season, and it wasn't until 1955 56 did he become a first-team regular. A powerful inside forward with a high work rate and accurate passing, Bloomfield was part of Arsenal's attack from 1955 to 1960, one of Arsenal's few stars during a mediocre period for the club. He won caps for England at U23 level (but never at full level) and the Football League XI, and also played in the London XI that lost the first Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final against FC Barcelona in 1958.

Bloomfield played 227 times for Arsenal, scoring 56 goals. However, with the arrival of George Eastham in 1960, Bloomfield lost his place in the team, and was sold to Birmingham City in November that year. Bloomfield spent four seasons with the Blues, reaching and losing another Fairs Cup final in 1961 (this time to Roma). He helped Birmingham win the 1963 League Cup, scoring a goal in the final itself as Birmingham overcame local rivals Aston Villa. In the summer of 1964 he returned to Brentford, and later had spells with West Ham United, Plymouth Argyle and Leyton Orient.

In 1969 he became Orient's player-manager, and won the Third Division in his second full season, using only 18 players in the process1969 70. He was appointed by newly-promoted Leicester City in 1971, and kept the Foxes in the First Division for six years. They also reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1973 74 (which they lost, after a replay, to Liverpool). During his 6 year stint at Leicester, Bloomfield created a side of free-flowing skilful football on a shoe-string budget, featuring the likes of Frank Worthington, Keith Weller and Len Glover and is still considered one of the club's all-time great managers. After his departure in 1977, Leicester went straight down the next season under Frank McLintock.

Bloomfield returned to manage Orient again in 1977, and his second spell in charge included a run to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1977 78, where they were defeated by Bloomfield's old club Arsenal. Bloomfield left in 1981 following a dispute with the club chairman, Brian Winstone, over the sale of Nigerian international winger John Chiedozie. After that he was a coach at Luton Town, until his sudden death in Chingford, Essex, in 1983, from cancer at the age of 49.

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