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Former England midfielder dies aged 67

Former Middlesbrough, Southampton, and England player David Armstrong, who died at the age of 67, has been remembered.

Between 1971 and 1981, he played for Boro for ten seasons, making 431 appearances and scoring 77 goals. He was a key member of Jack Charlton’s Second Division promotion-winning squad in 1973-74.

Armstrong also holds the club record for most consecutive games played, 358 from March 1972 to August 1980.

He won his first of three England caps near the end of his time at Boro before joining Southampton in 1981, where he played nearly 300 games and scored 77 goals.

“He had a terrific left foot,” former Saints manager Dave Merrington told BBC Radio Solent.

“He was one of the best left-sided players you could come across, absolute quality. He could see a man, envision a pass, deliver a pass and go past people.”

Armstrong helped Southampton finish runners-up behind Liverpool in the old First Division in 1984 – a season they also reached an FA Cup semi-final – and was a formidable force on and off the pitch.

“I got on very well with him,” Merrington said. “He was not only a tremendous player but he had a really good sense of humour as well. He liked a bit of a joke.

“If he was left out of the first team and put into the reserves he was never happy about it. He would be hard to train in that instance because he always wanted to be a first-team player and believed he should have been.

“He was such a good pro and someone who just wanted to be in the first team. But he took it well when he wasn’t.”

Armstrong finished his illustrious career with a season at AFC Bournemouth in 1987-88, where he scored two goals in nine games before hanging up his boots.

Armstrong worked as a broadcaster for local BBC and commercial radio teams after retiring, covering Southampton games.

“He was brilliant,” Merrington added.

“He was outspoken, he didn’t sit on the fence, if the team played well he would tell you and if they played badly he would say so as well.

“He was great to talk to about tactics and you got a good bit of banter from him. He was a lovely guy and a tremendous player.”

Middlesbrough also paid tribute to Armstrong with a statement on the club website.

“The club is saddened to learn of the passing of the legendary David “Spike” Armstrong,” it said.

“The thoughts of everyone connected with MFC are with his family and friends at this time.”