National & International Sport

Tottenham and England legend Jimmy Greaves dies aged 81

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World Cup-winning legendary former footballer Jimmy Greaves has died at the age of 81, according to a statement released by Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs announced that their one of their greatest players and all-time record goalscorer of 266 goals in 379 games had passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning at his home.

Widely thought of as the greatest goalscorer of his generation, his 37 league goals in the 1962/63 season remains a Tottenham club record.

A member of England’s World Cup-winning squad of 1966, Mr Greaves netted 44 goals in just 57 caps for his nation.

His career began at Chelsea, scoring on his debut for the club in 1957, ironically against Tottenham.

After spending four years with the Blues and setting the single season club record for league goals scored there, he moved to Italian giants AC Milan in 1961 before then swiftly returning to England to join Tottenham Hotspur.

After scoring a hat-trick on his Spurs debut in December 1961, Greaves spearheaded a Tottenham team that would go onto to win the FA Cup twice in the 1960s and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963.

He left Spurs in 1970, joining fellow London club West Ham for a year before retiring, aged 31.

Mr Greaves’ contributions to football earned him an MBE in December of last year alongside fellow World Cup hero Ron Flowers, making them the last surviving England players from the 1966 tournament to be honoured by Her Majesty the Queen.

He is survived by his wife Irene and four children, plus their 10 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The Tottenham statement read: “We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the great Jimmy Greaves, not just Tottenham Hotspur’s record goalscorer but the finest marksman this country has ever seen.

“Throughout his wonderful playing career, Jimmy’s strike rate was phenomenal. His Spurs return was 266 goals in 379 appearances between 1961 and 1970 – 220 goals in 321 league games, 32 goals in 36 FA Cup ties, five in just eight League Cup ties and nine in 14 European matches.

“Football will not see his like again.”

Image source: Tottenham Hotspur

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