20. On his recent stroke: “I should be dead. But I’m here and I’m fighting fit. Now I want to live until I’m at least 90.”

19. On Paul Gascoigne: “A man capable of breaking both leg and wind at the same time.”

18. On his dribbling ability: “I started doing it in the school playground. It’s instinctive, natural. I’ve no idea how I scored the goal against United. If you thought about it, you wouldn’t do it as well.”

17. Commentating’s tough, part 1: “Portsmouth are at Huddersfield, which is always away.”

16. On Tommy Smith: “As we went out on the pitch, he handed me a piece of paper.  It was the evening menu for the Liverpool Royal Infirmary.”

15. On fatherhood: “The minute you have kids you start worrying and it never stops. Worry is closely followed by cost.”

14. On deciding against becoming a manager: “I didn’t really see my career in football after I retired. If I’d have known you could get millions for being absolutely crap and getting the sack, I’d have been in like a shot.”

13. On 1960s defenders: “Back then, unless you took a machete out on the pitch, you wouldn’t get booked.”

12. On Darren Anderton: “I’m 58 and I think even I’ve played more football than Anderton over the past two years.”

11. On his greatest partnership: “No one told Alan Gilzean and me what to do; we just did it.  Very quickly we knew exactly what the other was going to do.  You can’t teach that it’s an instinctive thing between the two of you that you’re both reading from the same page.”

10. Commentating’s tough, part 2: “The only thing Norwich didn’t get was the goal that they finally got.”

9. On Spurs style of play under Gerry Francis: “Wimbledon, with fans.”

8. On old school loyalty: “We signed to play until the day we died, and we did.”

7. On George Best: “It didn’t matter that George burnt out at a young age. So did Marilyn and Elvis.”

6. On his drinking years: “All I know is that the years from ’74 to ’78 were lost to me.”

5. On the meaning of sport: “The thing about sport, any sport, is that swearing is very much part of it.”

4. On Bobby Moore: “He knew where an opposition player was going to pass it before that player even knew.”

3. Commentating’s tough, part 3: “He hit the post, and after the game people will say, well, he hit the post.”

2. On confidence: “I wasn’t necessarily that assured off the pitch. In a way, when I passed through that tunnel, it wasn’t me any more.”

1. On Spurs: “The biggest regret of my whole football career was leaving White Hart Lane in 1970. My interest weakened after that. I was heartbroken.”

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20 COMMENTS

  1. On the subject of the great Jimmy Greaves (who prompted me to become a Spurs fan fifty years ago – I don’t live in London either), why is he only now about to be inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame? There may well be a logical answer to that which I am unaware of, but it’s a bit like saying let’s celebrate the life and influence of Queen Victoria in 1950 (she died in 1901). For goodness sake, Jimmy should have been in the Spurs Hall of Fame the moment it was established (assuming it was after his playing career ended). As I say, there could be a good reason for this but it certainly amazes me he isn’t already ensconced. Are Man Utd considering inducting Bobby Charlton into their Hall of Fame soon? (OK, I’m getting carried away there.) Good luck to Jimmy anyway, and I hope he does live to ninety or beyond.

    • Dan, I think it may have more to do with Jimmy than Spurs. I understand that for many years after he left, he refused go back to the club in any capacity, or for any reason; and perhaps the club felt it wouldn’t want to be embarrassed by being snubbed in any attempt to award the accolade. Shame though, as he remains, without a doubt, our greatest ever striker. COYS!

  2. Greaves!- what a fantastic dribbler he was, once over the half way, line he’d weave past 1 / 2 even 3 defenders and then slot calmly past the goalie.

    Shame there isn’t much footage of his skills.

    Without doubt a true Colossus. I’m sure he still could impart some gems of wisdom to some of our strikers!

  3. One other Greavise quote I always liked was when Bill Nicholson gave him a rest for a league match at Southampton the week before an important Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest. On the coach back home after Spurs had won 1 – 0 Jimmy was heard to say ”It’s easier on the bench, I scored all those one’s we missed today, and three for Southampton”.

  4. @Surespur: thanks for the information, it makes sense of something that seemed anomalous to me (and maybe others). Glad that, even belatedly, Jimmy gets his place in the THFC Hall of Fame.

  5. Like Dan Jimmy was the sole reason for following Spurs.Broken hearted when he left.I come from Kingston upon Hull and unfortunately never had the opportunity to see him play in the flesh.Without a shadow of doubt Jimmy Greaves (imo) is the greatest ever player to wear a Tottenham Hotspur shirt.

  6. I was fortunate enough to see Jimmy play many times and I can honestly say i have never seen a better goal scorer in all the years I have watched football. A truly remarkable player and a true legend in every sense of the word. I remember Jim scoring a goal against Leicester at WHL very similar to the one he scored against Man U where he beat five players and then rounded Peter Shilton before stroking the ball into the net. As the say Jimmy had something very special that no one can teach.
    Good luck Sir Jim ( Why not ? )

    • Like Dennis Church I too was at WHL when Jimmy scored that goal against Leicester. Out by the half-way line facing the crowd, he caught the ball on his thigh from big Pat’s kick, turned as a defender slid in, and then weaved his way towards the Paxton End goal leaving defender after defender on their backsides until he only had Shilton to beat, which he did with consummate ease. Sadly it was not captured on screen but it lives in my memory as the greatest goal I ever saw the great man score. I can only wish him all the best in his recovery from illness but I cannot help but wonder how much Jimmy would be worth at todays prices, 100 million? Two hundred million? Money just could not buy him, and like Jimmy himself I was heart-broken when he left Spurs. Get well soon Jim, a true legend of the game. Thank for the memories. X

      • William. The talk today is Man Ure spending 100 million quid on Pogba. That means if Greaves were playing today, 100 million would be a bargain. Best goal scorer Spurs will ever have. As good as all the rest added together. I like others on this post was gutted when he left WHL. In his book there is a picture where he is coming out for his testimonial. A Spurs fan is dressed as an Angel holding a placard which reads, “Home James”. Says it all I think. The epitome of the word “Legend”

    • I was there that day. His goal after three minutes, when he left 5 players on the floor, was missed by the cameras which arrived late owing to traffic problems.

  7. Great pair of footballers jimmy Greaves and Alan Gilzean I had the pleasure of seeing both players in my younger years they were Spurs through and through. I hope Jimmy gets well soon and gets to 90. Good luck to you mate and thanks for the memories we aint been the same since you left. But we’re getting there. COYS

  8. Privileged to see both the Double winning team and the Spurs of the rest of the 60’s at WHL as a kid, with Jimmy and that Leicester goal still ranking after 50 years as one of the best I have ever seen and that includes the thousands I now see on TV every year. His close control and the image of Jimmy moving while defenders and goalies just appeared to stand still reminds me only of Messi in the modern game. Keep fighting Jim- 90+ why not. I am a Spurs supporter as my family was from Tottenham but you made me very proud to be one for 9 seasons. COYS.

  9. The greatest goal Greavsie scored was against Liverpool He went between Tommy Smith and Ron Yates ,who tackled each other, both thugs . Then lobbed Tommy Lawrence in goal another animal. Does anyone remember that? I saw it from the shed Happy Days

  10. I saw the great man many times at WHL and he was my all time hero and still is.Back in the days before club shirts my mother had to iron on a cockerel and a number 8 on my shirt.Happy days.In reply to Maturin’s post was that not the goal shown on the opening credits to Star Soccer?.

  11. My school boy hero and undoubtably Tottenham’s and probably English football’s greatest ever striker. Whenever I see a player these days clean through with only the goal keeper to beat only to blast it at the keeper, I think to myself Jimmy would never have missed that. A little drop of the shoulder he would have been round him and tapping it into an empty net. He didn’t score many from long range (the balls were a lot heavier then) but I remember a left foot hammer from the edge of the box against Aston Villa in 1962. I spent the entire game on one leg sharing a foot stool with another lad. We won 4-2.

  12. Englands and one of the worlds greatest ever strikers! Legendary inspiration given to schoolboys. Clever,quick and humour all combined to give huge entertainment. Incredible goals, he was why I became a Spurs fan! The team played innovative intelligent football and Jimmy was icing on cake. Who knows but the crop of players we currently have we will get up and past that mark of brilliance. Jimmy is human, gave far more than he got!

  13. 1. Greavesie scored 122 goals in one season for Chelsea’s youth team – never likely to be surpassed.
    2. Opponents were more frightened of Tommy Smith’s face than they were of his tackles. I’ve seen better looking gargoyles.

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