Jimmy Greaves - 50 years on

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Jimmy Greaves - 50 years on Empty Jimmy Greaves - 50 years on

Post by sirfredperry on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:19 am

It's 50 years to the day that Jimmy Greaves made his debut for Spurs. Just the three goals in his first match against Blackpool, including a scissor-kick first in a 5-2 win. I was stuck away at boarding school, but my dad and brother were there. I had to make do with a first sighting the following the week when Jimmy hardly had a kick and Spurs lost 2-1 to....Arsenal.
But I was lucky enough to see him get loads of goals over the years, including a couple of crackers against Leicester City (first against Banks, the second against Shilton) when he seemed to beat the entire defence before scoring.
He may not have been Spurs greatest player, but he was certainly their best goalscorer. Any else with Jimmy memories?

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:22 pm

Sir Fred,

I was fortunate enough to see Jimmy Greaves play a couple of times for Spurs in the late 1960s (against Coventry City at Highfield Road). He splendidly partnered the almost as excellent Alan Gilzean .

I also saw him play once for West Ham at the start of the '70s (same opposition, same venue). Not just with hindsight, age and other matters were then catching up with him. Nonetheless, it was still a privilege to watch him. Sadly, for him, goals never came either that day or hardly at all at West Ham. Mind you, that was the only place they didn't!

I actually met Jimmy Greaves at a book signing in Holborn about five years ago and it was a delight.

To put the time in context, it was just a few days before George Best died. I saw Greaves being interviewed about Best in the store by a tv reporter shortly before the signing session and I briefly mentioned how well I thought he had spoken when I went to have my book signed. Unlike what you might expect of many in his position, Greaves was clearly interested and asked what had particularly caught my attention. He then proceeded to tell me more about Best and his hopes for him - along the lines of ''George has surprised all his life, he might still do so'' (sadly not to be the case). Greaves seemed genuinely happy and keen just to chat.

Jimmy Greaves - a very good and under rated footballer, the greatest English goal scorer in my lifetime and a lovely man.

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Post by sirfredperry on Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:11 pm

G'bat. Ta for that. I did meet Jimmy. They say never meet your idols, but he was very charming and signed an autograph for me. Of his era, he was probably the most exciting player along with the immortal United trio of Best, Law and Charlton.
I thing older Spurs fans would put him high up their all-time list that's probably headed by Dave Mackay, with Blanchflower in there along with Pat Jennings. Historians, who will have to make do now that all the fans of that era are dead, could plump for the likes of Jimmy Dimmock, Arthur Grimsdell and Jimmy Seed (who lives on at The Valley in the shape of a stand, I think).
But doubt there'll ever be another goalscorer quite like Jimmy. His 220 league goals record for Spurs is safe, I guess.

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:32 pm

Thanks, Sir Fred.

Of the eras and players you mention, Bobby Smith was also highly regarded. I think that's deserved although I concede much of his playing career was before my time and he was never on a par with Greaves.

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Post by sirfredperry on Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:34 pm

There'll be plenty more 50-year anniversaries coming up for Spurs fans over the next few months, as the Double side managed to carry on with formidable feats in 1962 and 1963.
Not least will be the April 2012 50th anniversary of the European Cup Benfica match and the 62 cup final v Burnley and the 63 Cup Winners' Cup triumph.
Nice for the new generation of Tottenham fans to have some decent football to watch over the last few seasons and not have to rely on the tales of derring-do from far-off times.

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