Jimmy Greaves – My reason for being a Spurs fan


After reading a recent article about Jimmy Greaves’ latest visit to the Hotspur Way training ground, It made me think, that it was him who strongly influenced me into following Spurs.

Before the Second World War, my dad was playing in goal for South London School Boys, and was registered with Arsenal too. After the war, he started a family, dropped football and started work.

As a boy during the early 60’s, I spent 2 years in Singapore with my parents and siblings, and although we played football, nobody mentioned any particular teams.

On returning to the UK in 1966, we lived in Uxbridge, my school team played in Man Utd colours, and being left footed I wore number 11, at the time a certain George Best was wearing the same.

I hadn’t really decided which team to follow, until on our local green, I met a teenager called Billy Millward, who wore the full Spurs kit, and said that he was an apprentice there. amongst other skills he taught me how to head a ball, and he new his stuff, because whenever I played in the future, I was always one of the best ariel players in the various teams I played for. It was Billy who first mentioned to me the name Jimmy Greaves, and very quickly I became a huge fan of his and of course Spurs as a team.

Which brings me back to why I mentioned my dad earlier in this article, a Gooner, who use to reminisce with me, about the great Arsenal players of his youth, Alec James, Cliff Bastin etc etc. Well I explained to him about this boy Billy and so on, and how I really enjoyed watching Jimmy Greaves play, and he said “I won’t force you to support Arsenal, I’m disappointed of course, but it’s your choice”.

The following year, Spurs beat Chelsea in the 1967 FA Cup final, watching the game on tv, I turned to my dad at the final whistle and said, thanks dad, to which he replied, “ good choice, I was afraid that if I had not allowed you to support Spurs, you might have started following that George Best bloke and Man Utd, and that would have been too much for me!”

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  1. My dad was an Arsenal fan as well. It was always a surprise to people when they heard that I supported Spurs and my dad Arsenal.

    Good to know that I am not the only one to experience this. My dad took me to Spurs games as a kid and there was never any animousity between us, just friendly banter.

  2. My dad was also an Arsenal fan as was my two eldest brothers! But my two younger brothers and I have been Spurs through and through since the fifties. TTID COYS!

  3. I first took notice of Greaves when he was still at Chelsea and playing in the reserves, and in one season he scored something ridiculous like 114 goals (no that’s not a misprint – one hundred and fourteen goals), I flirted with AC Milan when he went there, but settled on Spurs when he came back to England. I was at his first game where he scored a hat-trick against Blackpool, and I’ve loved his skill and courage ever since – no more so than now in the face of his illness. He will always be, for me, the greatest ever English player I have ever seen (with the possible exception of Colin Bell): close call, that one. But for Spurs, definitely the greatest, by a distance.


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