Former England, Chelsea and Tottenham striker Jimmy Greaves has died aged 81

Former England, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur striker Jimmy Greaves has died. He was 81 years old.

One of England’s best forwards, Greaves has scored 44 goals in 57 international appearances and is Spurs’ top scorer with 266 goals in 279 games.

Greaves also played for AC Milan and West Ham United and scored a total of 366 top-flight goals over a 14-year career, a record for most goals scored in the top five leagues. Europeans for 46 years until he was beaten by Cristiano. Ronaldo in 2017.

A member of England’s 1966 World Cup winning team, Greaves missed the final after suffering an injury during the tournament. He was replaced by Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat trick in England’s 4-2 win over West Germany.

Alcoholism cut Greaves’ career short at the age of 31 and he also struggled with health in his later years and suffered strokes in 2012 and 2015.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher described Greaves as “the best scorer we’ve seen”, while Spurs forward Harry Kane called him “a true legend.”

Gary Lineker, a former Tottenham and England striker, said: “Terrifyingly sad news that Jimmy Greaves has passed. Probably the greatest striker this country has ever produced. A truly magnificent footballer who was home to both on the surface and on the surface. A charismatic, knowledgeable, witty and warm man. A sports giant. “

England manager Gareth Southgate has said the national team will pay homage to Greaves in next month’s World Cup qualifier against Hungary at Wembley, while Spurs and Chelsea also paid tribute to their former player.

“Jimmy Greaves was someone who was admired by all who love football, regardless of their club stripes,” Southgate said in a statement released by the Football Association.

“I had the privilege of being able to meet Jimmy’s family last year at Tottenham Hotspur as the club celebrated their 80th anniversary. My thoughts are with them and I know the whole game will mourn his passing.”

Born in east London in 1940, Greaves signed for Chelsea and made his professional debut at the age of 17. He scored 132 goals in 169 games, totaling 100 league goals by the age of 20.

He caught the interest of Italy and signed with AC Milan in 1961, but managed just 12 appearances and nine goals in his only season at the club.

Greaves returned to England with Spurs in 1962 for £ 99,000 and scored in the FA Cup final as Tottenham won the trophy that season.

His nine seasons in north London coincided with the most successful decade in the club’s history. Greaves would also win the FA Cup with Spurs in 1967, as well as the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963.

Greaves made his England debut in 1959, scoring in a 4-1 victory over Peru. He holds the record for most hat-tricks scored by an English player and scored the first of his six in an 8-0 win over Luxembourg in 1960.

He scored the last of his 44 England goals in 1967 and is fourth on the all-time scorers list in England behind Wayne Rooney, Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker.

After leaving Spurs in 1969, Greaves traveled through London to sign for West Ham, where he remained for two seasons until 1971. Due to alcoholism and fitness issues, Greaves was less prolific during his last two years in the top flight and scored 13 goals in 40 appearances for West Ham before retiring in 1971 at the age of 31.

After his retirement, Greaves pursued a career in broadcast media and hosted the popular football talk show “Saint and Greavsie” alongside former Liverpool striker Ian St John from 1985 to 1992.

Greaves eventually received his World Cup winner’s medal in 2009. Due to FIFA rules which were later overruled, only players who completed England’s 4-2 victory over Germany from the West Field were awarded winners’ medals in 1966.

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