Jimmy Greaves

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Like all true Spurs`fans, I was desperately sorry to hear that my boyhood hero, Jimmy Greaves had suffered a severe stroke. The outpouring of Good will towards the greatest striker we have ever had was heartwarming and sincere. Anyone fortunate (and old) enough to have seen the Great Man destroy defences week after week will know he was one of a kind. What a shame that many of his goals were not captured by the cameras in a time when there was nowhere near the blanket coverage of games we take so much for granted today.

When I was a kid, I lived in Birmingham, so my highlights were the Spurs away games at Villa, WBA, Birmingham City and sometimes Wolves.This was a time when Spurs were almost invincible at Fortress White Hart Lane, but on the road, it was a different matter. I certainly witnessed more defeats than victories. Spurs`were regarded as a soft touch away from home. Not all the time, but too often for my liking. I remember defeats at St Andrews and Villa Park that made me dread Monday mornings at school, when all the local fans would be waiting to rub it in.

However, more often than not, there would be a grudging admiration for Jimmy Greaves. His skill and goal scoring prowess was admired just about everywhere, by fans of all clubs.I particularly remember one away game at the Hawthorns, when Spurs were drawing 0-0 and under intense pressure near the end. Jimmy G was loitering with intent on the half way line, marshalled by two WBA defenders. A long clearance downfield and Jimmy was off like a hare, round the keeper and 1-0 to Spurs.The two defenders were yards back. Even the home fans were impressed.

It was a very sad day when Spurs`allowed Jimmy to leave the club, especially as he went to West Ham. The fact he retired at 30 shows his heart was still at WHL. His subsequent battles with the bottle could arguably be traced back to Bill Nicholson letting him leave. Probably the biggest mistake Bill ever made, in hindsight.

Now at the age of 75, Jimmy G is in bad health. The Tottenham Trust has contributed to his healthcare bills, and we are all grateful for that. His fellow pros from the 60’s have been voiciferous in their support, which is admirable. The general public have contributed generously to ensure he gets the physio he needs to hopefully walk again soon.

What is missing, and this saddens but does not surprise me, is the apparent lack of support from more recent and present Spurs players (Chelsea and West Ham as well, if you like). Jimmy probably never earned more than £200 a week. He was born too soon to cash in on the riches his talent certainly deserved. It would be a lovely gesture if the present squad had a whip round for Jimmy. Most of these players are on wages most of us can only dream about.One of them wont be even playing competitive games. Charity begins at home and White Hart Lane was home to Jimmy Greaves. Former players including Steve Perryman and Steve Archibald have been very proactive in their support for Jimmy, and it would partially restore my faith in humanity if the Spurs 2015 side remembered one of the players who put the ‘Glory’ in our beloved Tottenham Hotspur.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Powerful and true. You are a lucky one to see players like Mr. Greaves live. I only saw him in many videos, YOUTUBES and things and the more I see him the more I think that there has not been a forward like him , as I have also seeing all the greats , the Di Stefanos, the Magyar Maestro Ferenc of Real, and many more. It is possibly because of the way I born and socialised to love Spurs, but Mr. Greaves has something else. One of the saddest moments of my life was when I saw him on the bench in the 1966 final, it's difficult to understand his feelings. It is also heart-warming that two of our revered legends the two Steves have done the best. I would expect the leadership and management of SPURS FC to do everything for Mr. Greaves, people like the multi-billionaire owners, the CEOs, the CFOs and all those people. As for the current players, I will not pass a comment , I have made enough enemies in the Spurs sites. I will be VERY surprised if one or two of them (even anonymously) make Mr. Jimmy G's dates more comfortable.

    • Hi evan i was at spurs for jimmys debut in dec. 1961 when he scored a hattrick against blackpool in a 5:2 victory the first with an overhead scissors kick and completed his hattrick with two headers i can remember the game even though it was 55 years ago. Regards steve.

  2. Seconded. Jimmy Greaves was by a distance the greatest striker I have ever seen. He is loved, respected, admired the world over. So sad that he has health issues now. He earned a pittance compared with footballers today, who get paid a fortune for much less ability. He deserves support, and it would be nice to think the football world will come to his rescue, and collectively contribute to cover his medical care costs.

  3. it does not take a genius to realise the easy crowd favour to be earned. if ade had said, here is the 30k you need jimmy (btw, two days of wages) he would have been forgiven for so much

  4. Nice article about the great man. I was one of the fortunate ones who witnessed Jimmy's entire Tottenham reign and can vouch for all that you have written, what a goal scorer and a scorer of great goals. Still to this day have never seen anyone better at consistently beating the keeper in a one on one situation bearing down on goal, very hard when you have a little time to think and change your mind, you could bet your house that he would score. I am sure all of the Tottenham family wish him well and hope that his full recovery is a speedy one.

  5. Such a great man, and such a great player, born and living in "The Lane" during his days, I so remember the great team of those days, and the chants ringing around the ground when the great Jimmy and Gilly were on form. What a partnership they made. ALL MY BEST TOTHE GREAT MAN, £ 1.00 EACH FROM EVERY FAN AT THE NEXT HOME GAME…………COME ON SPURS GET THE BUCKETS OUT

  6. My Spurs hero , never bettered never will be Lucky to witness his sublime skills week in and out at WHL in the 60 ‘s A true Spurs ucon along with Bill Nicholson !

  7. If your in to stats, then read them and weep, if you only believe your eyes then take a look and see how unbelievable this man was, if you don't give a hoot about stats or performance but only care about how the game was played, then check out the size of this mans personality on and off the pitch. If England had ever produced greater then they arrived before the invention of the game itself. In fact had he even been given more games for his country, then Rooney would still be straining to come close to the England goal scoring record because it would undoubtedly be a lot higher than he has had to attain and dare I suggest, a lot higher than he would ever have been likely to either.
    A nice tribute to the player that he was and certainly 100% correct in suggesting that the current squad of players would do well to stick their hand in their bulging pockets for a man that puts every single one of them in the shade for natural ability and certainly contributed as much as anybody in the history of this great club, towards its profile and standing on the world stage. God bless you Jimmy and shame on any current player who doesn't even consider contributing to this legends well being and recovery.

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