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Jimmy Greaves

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James Peter 'Jimmy' Greaves (born 20 February 1940) is an English former football player, and more recently a television pundit.

Playing career

Chelsea, AC Milan, and Spurs

Greaves was a phenomenal striker, scoring on his debut for Chelsea in 1957. He finished as top League goal scorer twice whilst at Chelsea in 1959 and 1961 and his 41 league goals in the 1960-61 season remains a club record.

In 1960 he became the youngest ever player to score 100 league goals in English football at the age of 20 years 290 days (and at 23 was the same age as Dixie Dean when he scored his 200th).

He briefly joined the Italian side A.C. Milan in 1961 and scored 9 goals in 12 games but failure to settle led to a quick departure. Bill Nicholson then signed him for Tottenham Hotspur for ú99,999. The unusual fee was intended to relieve Greaves of the pressure of being the first ú100,000 player.

Spurs v Man Utd (1965)

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He played at Spurs from 1961 to 1970, scoring a club record of 266 goals in 379 matches, including 220 goals in the First Division. Greaves finished as top League goal scorer in four seasons (1963, 1964, 1965 and 1969), an achievement that established Greaves as arguably the most consistent striker in English football history. His record of finishing top goal scorer in six seasons has never been matched.

With Spurs, Greaves won the FA Cup in 1962 and 1967, scoring against Burnley in the former. He also won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963 - scoring twice in the famous 5-1 defeat of Atletico Madrid, ensuring that Spurs became the first British club to win a European trophy.

Greavsie: The Autobiography By Jimmy Greaves from Football Shop Amazon.co.uk

"This book is both Jimmy's story and the story of football in the golden era of the fifties and sixties before money changed the game. It is populated by the great players whom Jimmy played with and against and animated by wonderful anecdotes about the game."

International career

Greaves won his first England cap in 1959, and went on to play 57 times and score 44 goals, five less than Bobby Charlton but at a much higher rate. He remains third in the all-time list of England goalscorers, behind Charlton and Gary Lineker. Greaves also holds the record for most hat-tricks for England - six in all.

In the 1962 World Cup finals match against Brazil in Chile, a stray dog ran on to the pitch and evaded all of the players' efforts to catch it until Greaves got down on all fours to beckon the animal. Though successful in catching the dog, it managed to urinate all over Greaves' England shirt. The Brazilian player Garrincha thought the incident was so amusing that he took the dog home as a pet.

Personal information
Full name James Peter Greaves
Date of birth February 20, 1940
Place of birth East Ham, London, England
Nickname Greavsie
Position Striker
Professional clubs*
Years Club Apps (goals)
1957-61
1961
1961-70
1970-71
Chelsea
AC Milan
Tottenham Hotspur
West Ham United
157 (124)
14 (9)
321 (220)
38 (13)
National team
1959-67 England 57 (44)

Greaves was the first-choice striker for the England team during the 1966 World Cup but suffered a leg injury during a game against France and had to be replaced. That replacement, Geoff Hurst, scored the winner in the quarter final against Argentina and kept his place all the way to the final, famously scoring a hat-trick as England won the tournament.

One of football's most famous photographs shows the elation on the England bench as the final whistle was blown, except for Greaves, in his suit and tie, looking astonished at what had happened. Greaves has always maintained that he felt nothing but delight at England's win and celebrated as much as the other non-playing members of the squad. He also maintains that he never felt he had a divine right to be in the side once he regained his fitness.

West Ham and Barnet

In 1970, Greaves joined West Ham United. He scored on his debut, (as he had for every team he played for, including England at full and under 21 level), with two goals against Manchester City on March 21. Two months later, on May 28, he finished sixth in the London-to-Mexico World Cup Rally with co-driver Tony Fall. He retired in 1971 having played 516 Football League games and netted 357 goals.

Greaves made a comeback at the age of 38, playing for Barnet F.C. in the then Southern League, playing from midfield he netted 25 goals and was their player of the season.

Post playing career

In the mid-1970s Greaves battled a well-documented alcohol problem, finally quitting drinking in 1978. He became a popular television presenter and football pundit, striking up a memorable partnership with Ian St. John. Together they hosted a popular Saturday lunchtime football show called Saint & Greavsie.

Greaves also worked frequently for TV-am as a TV critic and was a resident team captain on ITV sports quiz Sporting Triangles as well as co-hosting the popular Saturday morning kids TV show, The Saturday Show. He briefly had his own talk show and has been a columnist for The Sun newspaper for many years. In 2002 Greaves was made an Inaugural Inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame. He released his autobiography, Greavsie, in 2003 and is in demand as an after-dinner speaker.

Married since 1958, he is now a grandfather.

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Comment

jimmy greaves greatest goal scorer of all time a true legend for spurs and england

jimmy greaves should have been picked top goal scorer of all time instead of gary linker his record speaks for itself

He is without doubt the most gifted striker England has ever produced, he would of been even more phenomenal had he not been such a heavy drinker during his career, he is a spurs legend and was a truly remarkable goal scorer that will never be bettered in the English game.
Jimmy Greaves is without doubt the most prolific goalscorer that England has ever produced the records speak for themselves to score for every team on your debut is an outstanding feat which I doubt will ever be equalled to score 200 goals in six years roughly 33 per year is exceptional when you consider how much harder the game was played in those days and the state of the pitches they played on add to that 44 goals in 57 games for England in almost ten years scoring six hat tricks still a record including scoring four goals in a single match on two occasions shows just why he is the most phenomenal goalscorer England has ever had. from Dave, New Southgate London

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