Opinion: Jimmy Greaves – a true great

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As Jimmy Greaves approaches his 80th birthday, it was only right to write an article dedicated to him. The coming week sees a BT Sport documentary about the stunning career of Greaves. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to watch a player, who unfortunately was before my time.

I’ve grown up knowing about the magic of Jimmy Greaves. My Grandad idolised him. I received a phone call yesterday from him and he was clearly excited. I was confused at first. But, in the Daily Mail (12/2/20) there was a five-page spread about the brilliance of Greaves. In an era that the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated, my Grandad was simply desperate for me to understand how Jimmy Greaves would’ve held his own against anyone in World football.

Jimmy Greaves was a man who made London proud. He started his career at Chelsea. In just four seasons, Greaves would go onto score 124 goals at the West London club (TransferMarkt). His form would ultimately earn him a move to Italian giants, AC Milan in 1961. Sadly, his time in Italy didn’t go to plan. Although a record of nine goals in twelve appearances certainly isn’t a bad one (TransferMarkt). Just a year later, Jimmy Greaves would go onto make a £99,999 move to Tottenham Hotspur (Telegraph).

It was at Tottenham where Greaves shined. It was an incredible addition to a side, who was undoubtedly one of the best in the World under Bill Nicholson. What Jimmy Greaves would go on to do at Spurs was simply unprecedented. In 379 appearances Greaves would score 266 goals (TransferMarkt). A figure that is yet to be matched. Greaves won the FA Cup twice and also the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963. It is just a shame that he never went on to win the league.

In 1970, Jimmy Greaves made his final move to West Ham. He would go onto retire a year later. But his total of 357 goals makes him the man with the most top-flight goals in England (TransferMarkt).

Jimmy Greaves was also in the 1966 World Cup-winning England squad. However, a group stage injury meant it was hard for Greaves to recover his place in the team.

Martin Samuel details his surprise that Jimmy Greaves has never been honoured (Daily Mail). I would have to agree. Jimmy Greaves changed the landscape of English football on the pitch, and it is yet to be matched. Even after his retirement, the work on television from Greaves showed just how much respect he had earned throughout his career.

As I said, I have known of Jimmy Greaves growing up due to my Grandad. I was also told about the brilliance of Paul Gascoigne from my father. However, I hope it is Harry Kane that I can tell future generations about.

Harry Kane has the potential to be everything at Tottenham Hotspur. One of our own as the stands will tell you. So far, he is on track to be the club’s record goalscorer.

However, I dream that it is trophies that will be talked about. For me, no one deserves to win a trophy more at this club than Kane. It would be a dream of mine to see Harry Kane climbing the Wembley steps and lifting an FA Cup with our famous colours on it.

In 2018, he was extremely close to becoming a World Cup-winning captain. So with Euro 2020 fast approaching, let’s hope a new chapter is written in the bright career of Harry Kane.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Fortunate to see Greavsie play although towards the end of his career at Tottenham. Absolute legend and great man. There are few Tottenham legends who missed out on recognition of their contributions to sport. This day and age, of honours like sweets, people like Jimmy, Danny Blanchflower (in my opinion the greatest ever Spur), Billy Nick, Stevie Perryman would and should have definitely been recognised.
    PS hope Jimmy is well

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