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  • Writer's pictureStuart Kavanagh

England and Spurs Legend Jimmy Greaves Dead at 81

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

It's a sad day in England today as 1966 World Cup winner and record Tottenham Hotspur goalscorer Jimmy Greaves has passed away.

After making his debut for Chelsea as a 17-year-old in 1957/58, he would go on to make over 150 appearances for the Blues, scoring 125 goals in the process. After ending his spell at Chelsea, Greaves would move to Italian giants AC Milan.

His time at AC Milan wouldn't be a great one. It must have been something he saw coming because Greaves reportedly tried to cancel the move several times before eventually moving to the Rossoneri.

Despite scoring in a Milan derby, his heart was never truly at the Italian club, and after scoring 9 goals in just 14 matches he was transfer-listed by Milan. He attracted bids from both his former club Chelsea and Tottenham.

He would move to Tottenham in 1961 for 99,999. It was at White Hart Lane that his legend would really begin. After scoring a hat trick on his debut, his game would go to the next level. In addition to scoring 220 goals, he would go on to win two FA Cups and a European Cup Winners Cup with Spurs. The North London club would be the one who would announce his death to the public.

He would also be a part of England's legendary 1966 World Cup-winning side. Sadly, he would lose his spot after playing in all the group stage matches after receiving an injury against France. This left him with 14 stitches and a permanent scar.

His replacement Geoff Hurst would go on to retain his place in the starting lineup and etch his name into English footballing history. This robbed Jimmy of a World Cup winners medal until a change of policy from FIFA that saw him awarded one in 2009. His career would go on to include stints at West Ham and an ill-fated run at Barnet.

His record of 357 goals is an English record in top division football. It remains unsurpassed almost half a century later.

Post football, he would go on to have a successful career as a television pundit. He is probably most famous for his show with Ian St. John on a Saturday afternoon called 'Saint and Greavesie'.

His career in TV would wind down just as the Premier League era began in English football. Privately Greaves would say his light-hearted approach to punditry was not serious enough for the TV execs who were ushering in a new era of football.

He suffered a minor stroke in 2012. After making a full recovery, he would suffer

a more serious stroke that left him in intensive care and unable to talk in 2015. Despite making a swifter than expected recovery, he would re-emerge in the public eye in 2016 in a wheelchair, rendered unable to walk following the stroke.

He was married to Irene Barden in 1958 and the pair had five children. He made a fortune after investing in a packing business with his brother-in-law. He would receive an MBE just this year for his services to football.

The legendary Jimmy Greaves passed away at his home in Danbury, aged 81,

rest in peace.

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