Jimmy Greaves

Feared by defenders and denizens of "chilly Jocko land"

Player Biography
Full name: James Peter Greaves
Date of birth: February 20, 1940
Clubs played for: Chelsea, AC Milan, Tottenham, West Ham
Jimmy Greaves
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Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves and Bill Nicholson, 1961 Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves has a kickabout in the House of Commons ahead of the FA Cup final in 1962 Jimmy Greaves, Tottenham, Burnley, FA Cup final 1962. Spurs striker Jimmy Greaves holds up his winners medal at the end. Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves, Tottenham Cliff Jones and Jimmy Greaves Bill Nicholson, 1965 Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Moore Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves England's 1966 World Cup squad Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves-Ron Harris-cropped Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves Jimmy Greaves and Ian Saint John Bill Nicholson Testimonial
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Club Career

Jimmy Greaves was born to score goals. He'd netted 100 league goals before his 21st birthday. He scored on his debut for every club he played for. In total, he scored 422 times in 604 professional matches. Blessed with pace and intelligence, and a sixth sense for being in the right part of the penalty box at the right time, he could waltz through a defence or tuck away a tap-in.

He almost began his career at Spurs in 1955, but manager Arthur Rowe was ill when he was due to sign, and Chelsea stole him away. He soon broke into the first team, establishing himself as a prolific young striker. In 1961 he signed for AC Milan, but hated the lack of freedom in Italy, on and off the pitch, and quickly returned to England with Tottenham. He soon settled into Bill Nicholson's team of 'Super Spurs', helping them win two FA Cups and break new ground as the first English club to triumph in Europe.

For England, he scored goals at a rate never repeated before or since. After retirement, he bravely battled alcoholism, before reinventing himself as an irreverent television pundit.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1957–61 Chelsea 157 124
1961 AC Milan 14 9
1961–70 Tottenham 321 220
1970–71 West Ham 38 13

International Career

It's a massive injustice that Greaves' international career is best remembered for the match he didn't play: the 1966 World Cup final, having lost his place to Geoff Hurst following an injury earlier in the tournament.

Greaves' haul of 44 goals in 57 games for England make him the nation's finest international goalscorer of all-time. Gary Lineker and Bobby Charlton may have scored four and five more respectively, but neither could match the amazing rate at which Greaves scored for his country.

International Career Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1959-67 England 57 44

Key Games

England 9-3 Scotland (Home International Championship, April 15, 1961)

The game that turned Scotland goalkeeper Frank Haffey into a national joke: "What's the time? Nearly ten past Haffey!" Greaves was responsible for three of those goals, one of six hat-tricks he scored for the national team. It was no consolation that Haffey pulled off the save of the match, inevitably from Greaves.

Tottenham 3-1 Burnley (FA Cup final, May 5, 1962)

Greaves picked up his first major honour, just months after returning from an unhappy spell in Italy. He put Spurs in front after just three minutes and 43 seconds, coolly placing the ball through a line of Burnley defenders. Bobby Smith and Danny Blanchflower scored Tottenham's other goals.

Tottenham 5-1 Atletico Madrid (Cup-Winners' Cup final, May 15, 1963)

He might not have settled in Serie A, but European football was definitely to Greaves' liking. He scored four goals en route to the final in Rotterdam, before netting twice against Atletico Madrid in the final to ensure Spurs became the first British team to win a European trophy.


Club Competition Year
Tottenham FA Cup 1962, 1967
European Cup-Winners' Cup 1963

Did You Know...?

Greaves took part in a London to Mexico rally in the run-up to the 1970 World Cup, and finished sixth alongside co-driver Tony Fall.

The fee for his transfer from AC Milan to Tottenham was deliberately set at £99,999 by manager Bill Nicholson to relieve Greaves of the pressure of being Britain's first £100,000 footballer.

During the 1962 World Cup, Greaves attempted to catch a stray dog that ran on to the pitch in the middle of England's match against Brazil. He succeeded, but the dog proceeded to relieve itself all over him. Brazilian star Garrincha won the dog when it was raffled off among the players after the game.

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From the back pages

Players Fight Against 'Slavery' Published: January 11, 1961

Time is running out...

England 9-3 Scotland Published: April 17, 1961

Home international match report

Tottenham 1-3 Ipswich Published: March 15, 1962

First Division match report

Tottenham v Burnley Published: May 5, 1962

FA Cup final preview

Tottenham v Burnley Published: May 5, 1962

FA Cup final preview

Tottenham 3-1 Burnley Published: May 7, 1962

FA Cup final match report

Tottenham 5-1 Atletico Madrid Published: May 16, 1963

European Cup- Winners' Cup final match report

Tottenham 1-4 Manchester United Published: December 11, 1963

European Cup-Winners' Cup 2nd round 2nd leg match report

Double Ban On Hero Greaves Published: May 1, 1967

Suspended by club - out of England side

Peters Is Swapped For Greaves - And £100,000 Published: March 17, 1970

Spurs swoop as transfer time runs out

Manchester City 1-5 West Ham Published: March 23, 1970

First Division match report

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