Former Tottenham, Chelsea and England striker Jimmy Greaves passed away on Sunday at the age of 81 after a period of illness. The 1996 England World Cup squad member had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in 2015. Greaves, was a goal scoring legend and one of the greatest ever strikers England has known. The legend Greaves was Tottenham’s all time leading goal scorer with 266 goals for the North London club.
Greatest goal scorer of all time
Nicknamed “Greavsie” he was the greatest goal scorer of his generation. Not only did he bag over 260 goals for Tottenham, he scored 132 times for Chelsea and 44 goals for England.
During his spell at Tottenham, Greaves won the FA Cup twice during the Sixties and helped Spurs win the European Cup Winners Cup in the 1962-3 season.
Born in Newham East London, Greaves joined Chelsea as an apprentice in 1955. He first came to light at youth level after banging in 51 goals in his first season.
From junior to the big time, Greavsie thrived on this
The big step up into the big time didn’t faze him by scoring 124 goals for the Blues in four seasons. His goal scoring prowess alerted Italian giants AC Milan who paid Chelsea £80,000 in April 1961 for his services. His brief stay in Italy wasn’t a happy one and moved back to England when Tottenham signed him for a fee of just under £100,000 back in December 1961.
The move benefited Greaves who settled into a Tottenham shirt straight away. Greaves won two FA Cups in 1961-62 and 1966-7, Cup Winners Cup and two Charity Shields. One big disappointment for Greaves was he failed to win a league title. Coming closest in season 1962-3 by finishing second.
He moved to fellow London Club West Ham United in a player exchange deal in 1970, and retired the following year. After a four year absence, Greaves played non-league football for Brentwood, Chelmsford, Barnet and Woodford Town. In 1980 Greaves decided to hang up his boots after a battle against alcoholism.
TV comes calling for Greaves
After the end of his football career, tv came calling for his services. He worked alongside Ian St John on a programme called Saint and Greavsie. The successful show ran from 1985 to 1992. The show eventually became one of the most successful shows on ITV.
Wonderful man who had no enemies
On a personal note I had the pleasure of meeting Greavsie twice. Both occasions were at his favourite other sport he enjoyed watching-cricket. He was a huge cricket lover and could be seen on many an occasion at his beloved Essex County Cricket Club. On both occasions I met him he was the same old Greavise we had got to know on camera. Funny, humorous, down to earth and would say it as it was.
One thing you would never ever be able to change with Greavsie were his way of life. He put up a tremendous battle to fight of alcoholism, but still managed to put a smile on everybody’s faces.
Greavsie will always be remembered for his remarkable achievements on the pitch as well as off it. Anybody who saw the great man in a football shirt will know they witnessed something special. RIP Jimmy Greaves. A man who was loved by everybody.