Jimmy Greaves, the English footballer and former Tottenham Hotspur striker who scored a total of 266 goals in 545 appearances, has died.
Jimmy Greaves was an English footballer who played for Tottenham Hotspur and England. He is most famous for being the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, which he did against West Germany in 1966.
Jimmy Greaves, a former England striker and Tottenham’s all-time leading goalscorer, has died at the age of 81.
Greaves started his career at Chelsea before moving on to AC Milan, Tottenham Hotspur, and West Ham United.
He was a part of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team, scoring 44 goals in 57 appearances.
With 357 goals in 379 games for Tottenham, he holds the record for most goals in the English Premier League.
Greaves set a Chelsea record for goals in a season with 41 in 1960-61, and he also set a Spurs record with 37 in 1962-63.
“We are very sorry to hear of the death of the great Jimmy Greaves, not just Tottenham Hotspur’s record goalscorer but the greatest marksman this nation has ever seen,” said a statement from Tottenham.
“At the age of 81, Jimmy died away at home in the early hours of this morning.”
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, tweeted: external-link “It’s heartbreaking to learn about Jimmy Greaves’ death. He will go down in English football history as a goalscoring legend and one of the all-time greats.”
Harry Kane, England’s captain and Spurs’ second-highest goalscorer after Greaves, described him as a “genuine legend.”
Greaves was characterized as a “sporting behemoth” by former Spurs striker Gary Lineker.
He wrote on Twitter: external-link “Possibly the best striker that our nation has ever produced. A really exceptional player who was equally at ease in and out of the box. A charming, intelligent, funny, and kind individual.”
Gary Mabbutt, a former England defender and Tottenham captain, told Radio 5 Live: “Legends are sometimes used in a haphazard manner. With Jimmy, you can use that word consistently because he was that wherever he played – his sublime goalscoring ability, his finishing and the character that he was.”
Greaves had “immaculate ball control, excellent balance, and such poise in front of goal that he seldom squandered a chance,” according to Tottenham.
He made his Spurs debut against Blackpool in December 1961, scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup final victory in 1962, and twice in the Cup Winners’ Cup win in 1963, as they became the first British team to win a European trophy.
Spurs remarked, “Football will never see his like again.”
Greaves leaves behind a wife, Irene, four children, and ten grandkids and great-grandchildren.
Greaves played for Chelsea from 1957 to 1961, scoring 132 goals in 169 games before transferring to Milan.
“We grieve the death of a genuinely great player and one of our own,” Chelsea stated.
He scored nine goals in 14 Serie A games for Milan, including one on his debut, but he couldn’t stay in Italy and moved to Tottenham Hotspur.
He left Spurs in 1970 to join West Ham United before retiring at the age of 31 at the conclusion of the 1970-71 season.
Before Sunday’s Premier League match against Manchester United, the Hammers will conduct a minute of applause.
Greaves went into broadcasting after retirement and hosted ‘Saint and Greavsie,’ a football program with former Liverpool striker Ian St John, from 1985 until 1992.
Greaves had a small stroke in 2012 and a major stroke the following year. In 2023, he received an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
‘Admired by all football fans’
Greaves is England’s fourth-highest goal scorer, after Wayne Rooney (53), Sir Bobby Charlton (49) and Gary Lineker (49). (48).
He was wounded during the group stage and therefore lost out on a World Cup winner’s medal in 1966.
Greaves was dropped from the starting XI for the final after recuperating, and his substitute, Sir Geoff Hurst, scored a hat-trick as England defeated West Germany 4-2 in extra time.
In 2009, the World Cup team players, as well as the families of manager Sir Alf Ramsey and other backroom personnel, received medals.
Gareth Southgate, England’s manager, has said that his squad would pay homage when they face Hungary on October 12 at Wembley Stadium.
“Everyone who loves football, whatever of team allegiances, loved Jimmy Greaves,” Southgate added.
“Given his reputation as one of England’s greatest goal scorers and his role in our 1966 World Cup victory, Jimmy deserves to be included in any list of the country’s finest players.”
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Jimmy Greaves, a former England and Tottenham striker, passed away on Thursday morning. He was 81 years old.