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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 16 Dec 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 16 Dec 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 16 Dec 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 16 Dec 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 19 Dec 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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Post by guildfordbat on Fri 10 Apr 2020, 2:19 pm

Nearer to 60 years on now and Jimmy Greaves is in hospital. The reason has not been specified although it doesn't appear to be coronavirus. However, he's been in ill health since suffering a stroke five years ago.

Rooting for you Jimmy. A great goal scorer and a lovely man.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 10 Apr 2020, 7:40 pm

Only saw Greaves a few times, each time for Spurs was in partnership with Gilzean. But looking at some old footage found a newsreel of a Spurs thrashing of Gornik (remember them?!). And that included a goal from John White who I never saw - thoughts on White, Sir Fred?


Saw Greaves a few times for West Ham, past his best but still a goal scorer. Remember those 60's / 70's definitions?
Greaves is a great goalscorer.
Charlton is a scorer of great goals.


Understand Norman Hunter is in a spot of COVID trouble . . . . . . . .

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 12 Apr 2020, 3:19 pm

Talking of the 1966 WC bench, with Greaves & Hunter, there are reports that The Cat, Peter Bonetti has passed away. Thought he'd live forever he always seemed so fit.

Gordon Banks must have looked at his England caps and thought Peter Bonetti deserved many of them. An all-time great who also overlapped for a few games with Jimmy Greaves at Chelsea.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 12 Apr 2020, 4:49 pm

Hi Kwini - Pele reported as saying that the three best keepers he saw were Gordon Banks, Lev Yashin and Peter Bonetti.

Without meaning to be disrespectful, I'm surprised by that. I wouldn't have thought that Pele would have seen Bonetti much at all.

Anyway, The Cat was a very fine keeper without doubt. As you suggest, unlucky not to gain more England caps.

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri 17 Apr 2020, 12:18 pm

And now Norman Hunter joins Peter Bonetti in the great stadium in the sky.

Hard as nails but a more skillful player than those, such as Smith and Harris, usually mentioned in the same breath.

I'll need to check but around half the '66 World Cup must no longer be with us.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 17 Apr 2020, 12:29 pm

Sad news indeed.
I think you have it spot on guildford, but I think only 9 or 10 of the 1970 are still with us.
I'm getting old . . . . . . .

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