Thursday, May 7, 2015

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Jimmy Greaves: A Wonderful Memory

Ed Moloney, a Long time Tottenham Hotspur supporter with his thoughts on the illness of the former Spurs striker, Jimmy Greaves. The author blogs at The Broken Elbow.

The sad news today that Jimmy Greaves is in intensive care in a London hospital following a stroke, the second he has suffered in three years. The 75-year old was one of the true greats of English soccer: the highest goal scorer for Spurs and England, for whom he scored the most hat tricks, and for six seasons the leading goal scorer in English football. When searching for an adjective to describe his skill with a football, only ‘silky’ seemed to fit the bill.

Jimmy Greaves, in his heyday, playing for Spurs
Jimmy Greaves, in his heyday, playing for Spurs
I was lucky enough to be able to watch Greaves play when he joined Tottenham Hotspur in 1961, first from the boys’ enclosure and then from the stands at White Hart Lane. It was from the stands that I was privileged to watch him score one of the greatest solo goals ever, against a Manchester United team that contained Charlton, Law, Best, Stiles and Crerand.

Spurs trounced United 5-1 that day, which was itself a memorable event, but there was hardly a soul there still alive who does not remember that day for Greaves’ goal. Here it is, the third of Spurs’ handful that day, courtesy of YouTube. Enjoy.



AM said...

From Beano

about “ Chewing Gum Jimmy ”—I remember reading this article from a Linfield programme were former winger Bobby Braithwaite talks about Jimmy. I was at the game as a 9 year old with my face pressed up against the wire at the Kop end....although not a Spurs supporter Jimmy was my footballing hero at the time. About a year before this match he had scored 4 against Northern Ireland at Wembley!! He scored 44 international goals from 57 matches including 6 hat tricks and in fact all those goals came from just 27 games..he failed to score in thirty!! All football mad 9 year olds then didn’t know how to pass the ball and preferred to practice the “ Greaves Run”-leaving beleaguered defenders strewn all over the pitch/street and coolly passing the ball beyond the despairing reach of the keeper and into the far corner.............

“These injury problems did not prevent Braithwaite from adding to his tally of international caps and he finished with a total of 10 appearances for his country. “Obviously my first cap against Wales was special. However the game that stands out for me was the match against England at Windsor Park in 1964. There was a crowd of around 60,000 at the game and England had Banks, Moore, Charlton and Greaves in their team as they were starting the build-up to their successful World Cup campaign. We had spent a lot of time before the game talking about how to stop Jimmy Greaves. Needless to say he scored a hat-trick, what a player and I think we were 4-0 down at half-time. The second half was a different story with a goal from Sammy Wilson and two from Jimmy McLaughlin as we ran England ragged.”