Jimmy Greaves, the former Tottenham Hotspurs and England legend has breathed his last at the age of 81. the heartbreaking announcement of his demise was made on Sunday morning, and the tributes started pouring in for one of the most iconic figures in English football history.
Jimmy Greaves will be remembered as one of England’s best strikers
Greaves had stints at Chelsea, West Ham and Milan during his illustrious 23-year long career, but it was at Spurs where he became the club’s all-time top-scorer between 1961 and 1970. England’s official Twitter account also mourned his death and many have been pouring in tributes for the England legend.
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jimmy Greaves at the age of 81.
All of our thoughts are with his family, friends and former clubs. pic.twitter.com/CetXiwD25l
— England (@England) September 19, 2021
We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the great Jimmy Greaves.
We extend our deepest sympathies to Jimmy's family and friends at this sad time.
Rest in peace, Jimmy.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 19, 2021
Everyone at Chelsea Football Club is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the great Jimmy Greaves.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends. 💙
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 19, 2021
We are saddened to learn the news of the passing of Jimmy Greaves.
The Club sends its deepest condolences to Jimmy's family and friends. pic.twitter.com/7VbZvbffCz
— West Ham United (@WestHam) September 19, 2021
The first footballers name I ever heard from my teacher. "No Ian! Finish like Jimmy Greaves!"
May he rest in peace ❤️😢 https://t.co/mvz0k1VHws
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) September 19, 2021
Jimmy Greaves was born in East London in 1940 and went on to sign for Premier League giants Chelsea and made his professional debut at the age of 17. He scored 132 goals in 169 games, tallying 100 league goals by the time he turned 20.
He drew interest from Italy and signed with AC Milan in 1961, but only managed 12 appearances and nine goals in his single season at the club. Greaves returned to England with Spurs in 1962 for £99,000 and scored in the FA Cup final as Tottenham lifted the trophy that season.
Jimmy Greaves spent nine seasons in North London that saw the most successful decade in the club’s history. Greaves would also win the FA Cup with Spurs in 1967, as well as the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963.
Jimmy Greaves made his debut wearing the National outfit in 1959, scoring in a 4-1 win against Peru. He holds the record for the most hat tricks scored by an England player and netted the first of his six in an 8-0 win against Luxembourg in 1960. Greaves scored 447 goals in total over the course of his club career, including 220 for Tottenham and 132 for Chelsea, winning two FA Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
The prolific frontman’s 41-goal haul in the First Division for Chelsea in 1960-61 remains a club record, and he also became a Serie A winner during his brief stint in Italy with Milan.
Greaves will be remembered as an England great too, as he managed 44 goals in 57 games for his country and played a part in their run to World Cup glory in 1966.
After retiring, Greaves pursued a career in broadcast media and presented popular football talk show Saint and Greavsie alongside former Liverpool striker Ian St John from 1985 to 1992.
Greaves eventually received his World Cup winners medal in 2009. Due to FIFA rules which were subsequently overturned, only the players who finished England’s 4-2 win over West Germany on the pitch received winners’ medals in 1966.