'My life was lit up every Saturday by his genius': Our readers' memories of Jimmy Greaves

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
'My life was lit up every Saturday by his genius': Our readers' memories of Jimmy Greaves - POPPERFOTO
'My life was lit up every Saturday by his genius': Our readers' memories of Jimmy Greaves - POPPERFOTO

England’s most natural, most gifted, most charismatic and greatest goal-scorer, Jimmy Greaves passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning, aged 81.

The former England striker, described by former club, Tottenham, as "the finest marksman this country has ever seen", had been in poor health since suffering a severe stroke in 2015 which left him paralysed down his right side and with only limited speech.

Tributes, led by Gareth Southgate, have been plentiful since Spurs announced the news on Sunday, just hours before they faced another of Greaves' former clubs, Chelsea.

“Jimmy Greaves was someone who was admired by all who love football, regardless of club allegiances,” Southgate said. “I was privileged to be able to meet Jimmy’s family last year at Tottenham Hotspur as the club marked his 80th birthday. My thoughts are with them and I know the entire game will mourn his passing.”

Here, Telegraph Sport's readers share their memories of one of England's finest.

'A real goal machine'

@Liberty:

"I’m too young to have seen Mr. Greaves play, although I have seen the stats and the film, and it was clear that he was a fantastic player in his day - a real goal machine.

"I remember his TV presenting days and also reading his autobiography about how he conquered his alcoholism. As brilliant as his footballing days were, the strength he found to overcome the booze is something I always deeply admired about him, especially having lost friends to it.

"His easy-going manner and self-deprecating humour made him an excellent TV presenter too. RIP Greavsie."

'A great footballer, but an ever nicer person'

@Malcolm Sargent:

“An absolute legend. A great footballer, but an even nicer person. His friendliness and humour shone through in his television career. RIP Jimmy, we will never see his like again."

'The best ever'

@John Waters:

“As a young Chelsea fan, my life was lit up every Saturday by the genius of the teenage sensation Jimmy Greaves. He may never have been able to win a 100-metre race, but he was the fastest man in the world over five yards (in army boots with a cannonball stuck to his feet).

"Today we would be saying Messi is ‘almost as good as Greaves’. The best ever. And he played with a smile, skipping past brutal tackles."

'A true sportsman'

@David Menashy:

“My favourite sporting moment is Jimmy and Bobby Moore tussling for the ball, only to then suddenly link arms and do a jig in the middle of the pitch! A true sportsman. I was privileged to see him play live many times; he was the greatest, for sure."

'His exploits are the stuff of legend'

@DerekJohnson:

“It was coming, but still terrible news to hear. I never saw him play, but his exploits are the stuff of legend. How sad that his supporters and admirers had to lobby for him to be honoured, which happened, only for the award to be pulled out of the bottom drawer.

"He should have been knighted. A great player and a funny, self-deprecating broadcaster.

"When my time comes and if I am lucky enough to go up, and not down, I hope that Greavsie and the Saint are on the first Saturday lunchtime after I arrive. RIP Sir."

'I became a Spurs supporter when Jimmy joined'

@Peter Real:

“I became a Spurs supporter when Jimmy joined them from Italy. I did a project on him for English at school in 1963, including a picture of him scoring a goal whilst horizontal four feet off the ground (not with his head). A fabulous player. With the likes of John White around him, they were a joy to watch."

'A true legend in his own lifetime'

@P Kirkland:

"Without doubt, a true legend in his own lifetime. Spurs now have a belated opportunity to honour his memory within their splendid new ground."

‘His ball control in an era of muddy pitches was exceptional'

@Nick Munton:

"Without a doubt the greatest goal-scorer England has produced. His ball control in an era of muddy pitches was exceptional, and his finishing ruthless.

"I remember my grandad buying me a white football shirt from his sports shop, Greaves & Penn, in South Chingford. In those days, you had to buy the Spurs badge and numbers and get your mum to sew them on! RIP Jimmy."

‘One of the best strikers England ever produced'

@Jeff Black:

"To many, he was just that funny bloke off the 80s football television programme. Then you watch the old films and realise he was one of the best strikers England ever produced. RIP Greavsie."

‘The great man only needed one chance, even half a chance'

@Robert Mulligan:

"I saw Greaves play for Spurs at Fulham. He was marked by top of his game Alan Mullery. Fulham were leading 1-0 and Greaves was marked and hassled out of the game by Mullery. He hardly touched the ball until Alan Mullery half-slipped in the mud; Greaves accelerated up the pitch and the ball went to him. Suddenly it was 1-1 and that is how it ended.

"The great man only needed one chance, even half a chance, and he took it. One of the greatest. RIP Jimmy Greaves."

What is your favourite memory of Jimmy Greaves? Share yours in the comments section below
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting