Aegina Expat
Feb 1, 2005
Thread starter #1

One of the greatest finishers of all time, Greaves was a phenomenal striker, scoring on his debut for Chelsea in 1957. He finished as top League goalscorer twice whilst at Chelsea in 1959 and 1961 and his 41 league goals in the 1960-61 season remains a club record. [ar]

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 £99,999. The unusual fee was intended to relieve Greaves of the pressure of being the first £100,000 player.
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 goalscorer 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 goalscorer in six seasons has never been matched.

[/al] 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 Atlético Madrid, ensuring that Spurs became the first British club to win a European trophy.
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.

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. However, his reaction at the time of England's success became well-documented - he packed his bags and headed on holiday with his wife while the rest of the squad attended an official banquet.

I never saw Jimmy play so I hope some of our older posters can give us a flavour of the player behind the stats.

Over to you.


It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake
Dec 14, 2004
Nice one Archie. My dad's got his autobiography, and he can't find a bad word to say about the guy.

Todays strikers are 'worth' £20m if they can boast a strike rate of a goal every other game. Greaves scored 44 goals in 57 internations for England. That just about shows how good he was.

Another story my dad told me. He was having a pre-match meal with a team mate (i think it might have been El Tel). Tel had something like a small salad and some pasta. Greavesy had a full English roast. Greavesy ended up banging in a hatrick :lol:
Dec 13, 2005
As a lad growing up in the mid 60's Jimmy Greaves was I suppose the Beckham/Owen superstar of his time.
Everyone at school wanted to be him.
Poacher extraordinaire. Homegrown working class superstar.
I was fortunate to see him play in his heyday, although jaundice robbed him of a piece if his brilliant career.
He was one of our own, a Dagenham lad but a Spurs supporter as a kid.
He had the uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time to pop up a score with the minimum of effort.
Too many memories to list in here at this time.


North Stand behind Pat's goal.
May 21, 2004
Brilliant on the Saturday TV football preamble with Ian St John. Top ratings and if it wasn't for his issues with te bottle, he'd still be in tv today.


Formerly known as *******Who?
Feb 6, 2006
Nice thread.

I'd quite like to see more of the same on other players aswell.



SC founder member gone bad, i love u all
Sep 21, 2003
Definately would have loved to have seen him play, but i was way too young (not born even) when he adourned the Legendry Lillywhites Shirt, i have about 4 cassettes of his from the series "Greavies 5 of the best" and did enjoy him with Ian St John Saturday morning. Legend!

PS: would love to see a Richard Gough one A&C even though he did only spend 1 year with us, but what a fantastic player.


Jun 29, 2003
I was still a wee lad when Greavsie was doing his stuff for us so I never got to see him play live, much to my regret. A footballing legend in every sense of the word.


Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2003
In my mind, Jimmy Greaves is the greatest striker ever to wear our colours. Think of Robbie Fowler at his goal-poaching best and then multiply it by 10.

Not only was he a goalscorer without equal, he could also play. He could find a pass, and in fact often used to appear to pass the ball into the goal - something the great (Sir) Bill Nick often used to comment on.

His goals came in all shapes and sizes. On his debut for us he scored a hat trick; one with each foot and one with his head. And who could forget his unbelievable strike at he Lane against ManUre: after picking it up about thirty yards out he beat at least three players before rounding the keeper and passing it into the empty net. Pure genius.

There could never be another.

Simply the best.
Jan 13, 2005
As you will notice from my avatar he is the greatest Spurs player for me although I have so much admiration for the likes of Cliff Jones, Dave Mackay, Alan Gilzean, Mike England, Pat Jennings, Alan Mullery, Steve Perryman, Ossie Ardiles, Graham Roberts & Ledley King.
I saw Jimmy play so many times and he just had the incredible talent to put the ball in the net. I think the single attribute he seemed to have above other players was the speed that he managed to pull his leg back and make a shot. The 'G' Men - Greaves & Gilzean- what memories.


aka Hugh G Rection
Oct 23, 2005
I think the club should make compilation DVDs of these sort of players for us youngsters who never got to see them.
All Ive seen of Jimmy is on the history DVD and the cup final games in the 60's, and Ive been brought up being told that he was the greatest player we've ever had so I really wanna see more.


New Member
May 20, 2005
His record of 357 goals in the top division will surely never be broken, and his club records 37 league goals in one season for Spurs and 41 for Chelsea - very unlikely to be beaten -

Quite often 20 league goals now gets you top scorer in prem season - JG must have topped that on at least 8 occasions, maybe more.

Not only was he our greatest ever goalscorer but he was a wonderful footballer too. He could cross the ball superbly, sometimes scoring directly from corner kicks. He had tremendous passing ability and great dribbling skills. My first footballing idol, and I'll never forget the great memories he gave me and so many Spurs fans.

He had a great sense of fun too - who remembers his impromptu dance with Bobby Moore in the middle of a hard-fought derby game?


Shat on a turtle!
Mar 17, 2006
Brilliant on the Saturday TV football preamble with Ian St John. Top ratings and if it wasn't for his issues with te bottle, he'd still be in tv today.
With respect, I think you're getting it a bit mixed up. I don't think his alcoholism had anything to do with his not being on the box anymore. Saint and Greavsie came well after he kicked the booze, unless I'm mistaken and he fell off the wagon? But I don't think he did.

Spurs Legend, truly.:bow:


New Member
Jul 8, 2005
what great memories this article brings flooding back, as a young lad the great greavsie was my total idol, although i was playing football every saturday myself i managed to see the great team of the 60's often and it was breathtaking stuff every time greavsie got the ball in the opposition penalty box 40,000 fand held their breath and wernt often let down by the great man,, oh happy times if only we had him now!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan 13, 2005
The following is from Roy of The Rovers hall of fame

When it came to scoring goals, he was, simply, the best, Jimmy binged on goals, making a special habit of hat-tricks. It was the same at International level, where he scored four in a game twice, as well as three trebles. A prolific natural goalscorer, deadly around the penalty area. He scored a hat-trick in a Division One match 2 months short of his 18th birthday. His goalscoring achievements included three fives, two fours and four threes, all in 1st Division league games!
Joe Mercer described him as 'a blinking little genius'. He could pick up the ball in the centre circle and dribble past half a team before bewildering the keeper. He did it for Chelsea against Birmingham City at Stamford Bridge in September 1959; in his Spurs days, Manchester United were the victims at White Hart Lane in October 1965; then it was Leicester City's turn in October 1968, Peter Shilton tasting humiliation as Jimmy paused impudently before applying the coup de grace.
Wicked intelligence, instinctive anticipation, perfect balance, magnetic control, explosive pace, supreme confidence; it seems ridiculous, unfair even, but he had the lot. Surely these traits made up for any perceived low work-rate. When the ball ran loose in half a yard of space, invariably he would be the first to move, and by the time a defender had latched on to his shirt-tails it would be too late. A supreme taker of chances, Jimmy could strike as firmly as the next man but usually he opted for precision, passing the ball into the net, his customary accuracy giving goalkeepers no chance.
Jimmy first made his mark at Chelsea. He seemed to score goals for fun, netting five times in a game on three occasions, grabbing four one Christmas morning against Portsmouth and becoming the first man to pass the century mark in league football before the age of 21. Not surprisingly there was outrage at Stamford Bridge when Jimmy was lured to Italy in the summer of 1961 for a fee of £80,000 having been promised untold riches by AC Milan. However, it was an unhappy interlude in Italy with Milan (despite scoring on his debut and netting nine goals in ten league games) and after four months of misery - he could not cope with the change in lifestyle - Jimmy joined Spurs for £99,999, Bill Nicholson refusing to pay a six-figure fee!
He began by maintaining his tradition of scoring on his debut at every level, weighing in with a hat-trick against Blackpool. Soon Jimmy helped Spurs win the FA and Cup Winners' Cups.
Jimmy excelled for England, too, overshadowing all other strike-rates with 44 goals in 57 matches; indeed, but for the strength-sapping jaundice that cost him four months of 1965-66, he would surely not have missed the final stages of the World Cup. Eventually, in March 1970, he left for West Ham, valued at £54,000 in the deal which took Martin Peters in the opposite direction. His Upton Park days were not the happiest, and ahead lay the well-documented drink problems that threatened his very existence.
His next career was as a television pundit with the well received 'Saint and Greavsie', on ITV with his good friend Ian St John. He is now a columnist for 'The Sun' newspaper every Saturday and you can read his articles if you follow the link at the top of the page.
With a goalscoring touch to match Roy of the Rovers and the ball skills to boot Jimmy Greaves is admitted into the Roy of the Rovers Hall of Fame.


New Member
May 20, 2005
Thanks for that 61 :) - I was privileged to be at the Lane for those magic goals v Man U & Leics - unforgettable


Well-Known Member
Jun 22, 2003
just reading this sends a tingle up your spine.

Has Jimmy been inducted into the spurs hall of fame yet?

And for all those who would like to see him back on TV, wouldn't he make a great pundit for Sky Sports Soccer Saturday (just as the Great Geroge Best did).
Nov 17, 2004
Brilliant on the Saturday TV football preamble with Ian St John. Top ratings and if it wasn't for his issues with te bottle, he'd still be in tv today.
That's simply wrong. Read his book "Greavsie." He beat the booze long before Saint and Greavesie. He claimed he still got offers to be in TV well into the 90's and beyond but chose not to do it. BTW, "Greavsie" is a marvellous book and will bring back fond memories of thosue of us who saw him play for Spurs.


Better a wag than a WAG
Aug 14, 2006
Greavsie was a genius. He was erroneously labelled a goal poacher because of his ability to be in the right place at the right time in front of goal. I once saw him beat five men, running from the centre line, to thwack the ball into the back of the net, leaving the keeper unable to do anything except applaud and shake his head.

He was often berated for not bothering to train (and certainly at Cheshunt during training sessions, he was in the back row and did very little). The fact is he was a natural and didn't need to train - in the same way as George Best didn't need to. Perhaps there's a parallel there, something to do with the chemical make-up of an alchoholic - could be an interesting study.

He was a good cricketer and I watched him play tennis once and his serve and speed were fantastic. I think he would have excelled in any sport he chose to play at a
professional level. Then there was his rallying success later of course.

On a personal note, on the December day in 1961when Jimmy came to the Lane I was the first to get his autograph (I still have it). I think saying "Please" with a wide-eyed begging look on my face clinched it. He joined for £99,999 as Billy Nick didn't want him to have a £100,000 player tag!

Jimmy was often in the White Hart pub next to the ground, as well as a regular at the Bell & Hare on Saturday nights after home games, with other players and so was I with
other (under-age!) friends and we sometimes chatted. He once told me I looked like his sister Marion. He was gregarious and fun and yes, he did drink quite a lot and we all know it escalated into alcoholism but he seems to have
turned his life around, even reuniting with his ex-wife Irene
(although they haven't felt the need to remarry).

Their son, Danny, was named after the late Danny Blanchflower who was his godfather.

Then there's a very personal story that never hit the press. I was there the day a very upset Greavsie went in to see Billy Nick and gave him an ultimatum (not an easy thing to do). It was "Either he goes or I do" regarding a fellow Spurs player who had been having an affair with Irene. He'd only just found out and WHL was buzzing with the story.

The named player left for another club very soon after ...

If you can bear it, this is a prose poem I wrote in tribute to Greavsie many years ago:


You look lazy.
When you're that good
No need to train.
Sprinting and swerving,
You leave them wrong-footed
And clumsy
And take deadly aim.
The goalie,
Shaking his head,
Stoops to pick the ball
From the back of the net.
No dishonour
No chance!

Greavsie grins
Toward the terraces,
A clown in baggy shorts
Acknowledging another roaring tribute.