One of the most popular and enduring figures in football – World digital news and sports

Jimmy Greaves, who died at the age of 81, will be remembered as a child prodigy, pioneer and expert, and one of the greatest natural scorers English football has ever produced.

Greaves’ prestigious club-level career with Chelsea, AC Milan, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United has been surpassed by his performances for England as he was 44. after Wayne Rooney, Sir Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker ranked fourth on the list of all-time goalscorers, goals in 57 games remain.

Despite his outstanding record, he will be best remembered internationally for missing England’s 1966 World Cup final win at Wembley after failing to regain his seat from Sir Geoff Hurst following an injury. Hurst scored a hat trick in England’s 4-2 win.

After retiring from the game and overcoming alcoholism, Greaves forged a hugely successful broadcast career that cemented his status as one of the game’s most beloved and enduring characters.

England & Spurs legend Jimmy Greaves dies at the age of 81
The wounderchild

Greaves was already considered a special talent as one of the “Drake’s Ducklings” at Chelsea – that was the name of the talented youngster group headed by coach Ted Drake as a reaction to the “Busby Babes” from Manchester United. He made his debut at the age of 17 in August 1957 and scored a goal against Spurs at White Hart Lane.

He may be best remembered for his Spurs performances, but his name is still fondly remembered at Chelsea after scoring 124 league goals in just four years at Stamford Bridge – his natural speed, poise and being Killer instincts in and around the penalty area break records.

In 1960, at the age of 20 years and 290 days, he became the youngest player to score 100 league goals when his performances brought him to Europe.

The pioneer

The young Greaves was one of the early exporters of English football when he moved from Chelsea to Italy and AC Milan in June 1961.

He also showed his class in this short stint.

In an Italian league dominated by the defense system of the Catenaccio door bolt, Greaves proved that he could still pick the locks with expertise and even score goals despite physical punishment.

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He later said: “I always felt like I went to Milan as a boy and came back as a man thanks to all the physical treatment I endured from their defenders.”

Scoring goals everywhere was never a problem, but Greaves felt stifled under the strict regime of Milan’s new head coach Nereo Rocco, who banned sex and alcohol for three days before the games. Greaves couldn’t wait to return when the San Siro giants accepted bids of £ 96,500 from Chelsea and Spurs.

The fame, the glory years
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Greaves was on his way to the Spurs in December 1961 after the League and FA Cup double winners outbid Chelsea in an offer of £ 99,999 – manager Bill Nicholson declined to pay the last pound because he didn’t want it the striker is burdened with the label of being England’s first £ 100,000 footballer.

It was worth every penny as Greaves’ actions made him the legend of White Hart Lane, scooping a record 266 goals in 379 games in all competitions for the club.

He won the FA Cup twice at Spurs, scored in a 3-1 win over Burnley in 1962 and played in a 2-1 win over Chelsea in 1967.
Greaves demonstrated their quality on the wider stage when Spurs won the 1963 European Cup Winners’ Cup and scored two goals in the final in Rotterdam when they beat Atletico Madrid 5-1.

England’s top scorer of all time
Player cap goals
Wayne Rooney 120 53
Sir Bobby Charlton 106 49
Gary Lineker 80 48
Jimmy Greaves 57 44
Harry Kane 64 41
In an era known for tough men like Leeds United’s Norman Hunter, Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris at Chelsea and ‘The Anfield Iron’ Tommy Smith, Greaves mixed physical courage and glorious goals that made him an undisputed world-class striker .

He scored 220 league goals in a nine-year career at Spurs and played 331 games before joining West Ham United in a £ 200,000 deal with Martin Peters.

England highs and the lowest low

Greaves made his England debut in May 1959 and played all four games of the 1962 World Cup in Chile before losing to eventual winners Brazil in the quarter-finals.

Despite his great career in England, which included a record six hat-tricks, Greaves will always be defined in an international context as the man who missed the 1966 World Cup final.

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Greaves sustained a leg injury that required 14 stitches after a challenge from Frenchman Joseph Bonnel in the final group game at Wembley, allowing Hurst to make history with that final hat trick when determined manager Sir Alf Ramsey refused to give in change a winning team.

Greaves initially did not receive a World Cup winners medal, as only the 11 who played at Wembley Stadium were eligible. However, it was eventually presented at a ceremony on Downing Street in June 2009 along with other cadres, back room staff and surviving families after Fifa changed the rules. He later sold it at a sports memorabilia auction in London for £ 44,000.

He even shaped the 1970 World Cup, when his career in England was long behind him. Greaves took part in the ‘London to Mexico World Cup Rally’ with a Ford Escort and took a very respectable sixth place with co-driver Tony Fall.

At the end of this adventure, Greaves’ great friendship with England’s world champion captain Bobby Moore was evident when he stepped over a wall into the British Embassy in Mexico City to see the West Ham defender. He was waiting to return to his teammates after being falsely accused of stealing a bracelet while the team was at a hotel in Bogota, Colombia.

Greaves moved to Upton Park in March 1970 and despite his prime, he held his record by scoring two goals on every major debut when West Ham beat Manchester City 5-1 on a pile of mud on Maine Road from Receive the Match of the Day cameras for posterity.

The decade also marked the low point of Greaves ‘descent into alcoholism, who admitted in an August 2003 interview with The Guardian, “I completely lost the’ 70s. They passed me by. I was drunk from 1972 to 1977. I woke up on.” Tomorrow and realized that it was another world. I had lived in it, but I wasn’t aware of it. “

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Greaves, who now lived in a one-room apartment in Wanstead, east London and made a living selling women’s sweaters, admitted he drank 20 pints of beer a day, then went home and worked his way through a bottle of vodka before going to bed .

During this dark period, Greaves played for Barnet, an experience he fondly recalled as he regained some of his love for the game and often reminded those who made his list of clubs like Chelsea, AC Milan, Spurs and West Ham United with the loving words: “And Barnet.”
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Greaves was on his way to the Spurs in December 1961 after the League and FA Cup double winners outbid Chelsea in an offer of £ 99,999 – manager Bill Nicholson declined to pay the last pound because he didn’t want it the striker is burdened with the label of being England’s first £ 100,000 footballer.
It was worth every penny as Greaves’ actions made him the legend of White Hart Lane, scooping a record 266 goals in 379 games in all competitions for the club.

He won the FA Cup twice at Spurs, scored in a 3-1 win over Burnley in 1962 and played in a 2-1 win over Chelsea in 1967.

Greaves demonstrated their quality on the wider stage when Spurs won the 1963 European Cup Winners’ Cup and scored two goals in the final in Rotterdam when they beat Atletico Madrid 5-1.

England’s top scorer of all time
Player cap goals
Wayne Rooney 120 53
Sir Bobby Charlton 106 49
Gary Lineker 80 48
Jimmy Greaves 57 44
Harry Kane 64 41
In an era known for tough men like Leeds United’s Norman Hunter, Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris at Chelsea and ‘The Anfield Iron’ Tommy Smith, Greaves mixed physical courage and glorious goals that made him an undisputed world-class striker .

He scored 220 league goals in a nine-year career at Spurs and played 331 games before joining West Ham United in a £ 200,000 deal with Martin Peters.

England highs and the lowest low

Greaves made his England debut in May 1959 and played all four games of the 1962 World Cup in Chile before losing to eventual winners Brazil in the quarter-finals.

Despite his great career in England, which included a record six hat-tricks, Greaves will always be defined in an international context as the man who missed the 1966 World Cup final.

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Greaves sustained a leg injury that required 14 stitches after a challenge from Frenchman Joseph Bonnel in the final group game at Wembley, allowing Hurst to make history with that final hat trick when determined manager Sir Alf Ramsey refused to give in change a winning team.

Greaves initially did not receive a World Cup winners medal, as only the 11 who played at Wembley Stadium were eligible. However, it was eventually presented at a ceremony on Downing Street in June 2009 along with other cadres, back room staff and surviving families after Fifa changed the rules. He later sold it at a sports memorabilia auction in London for £ 44,000.

He even shaped the 1970 World Cup, when his career in England was long behind him. Greaves took part in the ‘London to Mexico World Cup Rally’ with a Ford Escort and took a very respectable sixth place with co-driver Tony Fall.

At the end of this adventure, Greaves’ great friendship with England’s world champion captain Bobby Moore was evident when he stepped over a wall into the British Embassy in Mexico City to see the West Ham defender. He was waiting to return to his teammates after being falsely accused of stealing a bracelet while the team was at a hotel in Bogota, Colombia.

Greaves moved to Upton Park in March 1970 and despite his prime, he held his record by scoring two goals on every major debut when West Ham beat Manchester City 5-1 on a pile of mud on Maine Road from Receive the Match of the Day cameras for posterity.

The decade also marked the low point of Greaves ‘descent into alcoholism, who admitted in an August 2003 interview with The Guardian, “I completely lost the’ 70s. They passed me by. I was drunk from 1972 to 1977. I woke up on.” Tomorrow and realized that it was another world. I had lived in it, but I wasn’t aware of it. “

Greaves, who now lived in a one-room apartment in Wanstead, east London and made a living selling women’s sweaters, admitted he drank 20 pints of beer a day, then went home and worked his way through a bottle of vodka before going to bed .

During this dark period, Greaves played for Barnet, an experience he fondly recalled as he regained some of his love for the game and often reminded those who made his list of clubs like Chelsea, AC Milan, Spurs and West Ham United with the loving words: “And Barnet.”

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