20 Jimmy Greaves quotes every Spurs fan must read

20 Jimmy Greaves quotes every Spurs fan must read


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.”


  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!

      • The only reason that Jimmy never wanted to go back to the lane was he Never wanted to Leave it in the first place, he was without doubt the greatest goal scorer ever to grace and English stadium

  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”

      • Took my elder brother-in-law to his one and only time to WHL and saw Greaves get that goal against Leicester. He said that was fantastic, I told him we see that every week. Inside I was screaming that it was the best goal I have seen. Still is. All the best Jim.

      • I was at that game too. However, my brother was a little late leaving the house, so by the time we got there…it was 1-1 (including that Greaves goal). I seem to remember the papers the following day showing a picture through the net with players on the ground everywhere (I seem to remember 5 Leicester players on the ground) and Jimmy pushing the ball into the net. There was talk about Jimmy being finished around this time. The paper headline said something like “Who said he was finished?”. I’m sorry that I missed that goal.

      • William – have you forgotten the almost identical goal scored by Alan Clarke in the same game. Two amazing pieces of skill

        • Jimmy Grease again, and the greatest goal-less scorer ever seen in England, what a player he must have been.
          Plus he gave his sole to the club, quite a gesture, as he only had two.
          Is it in the trophy room?

    • 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.

    • Yup, I was there that day and by common agreement amongst my Spurs mates at the time, was the best goal we ever saw him score. Tragic there appears to be no film of it. From.memory started his run just inside their half on right wing and weaved his way through..not unlike Messi today.

  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

    • I seem to remember Gilzean heading the ball (his favorite method of scoring, it seemed to me) at all heights including one headed goal where he was spreadeagled on his front heading the ball into the net from inches off the floor.

  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.

  14. Arrived at the Leicester game a few minutes late and wondered what all the commotion was about. Have never forgiven Alf Ramsey for leaving Jimmy out of the World cup after the Uraguay game. Went to the quarter final against Argentina. If Jimmy had played in the final, would never had needed extra time. What a gentleman, the way he behaved. Still my favourite player of all time!

  15. I also am a Spurs supporter because of Jimmy,my boyhood hero,I also had a jumper made with cockerel and a number 8 on it. My kids get fed up with me going on about Jimmy,I wasn’t a Defoe fan as he missed far to many chances and to think he is Spurs record holder of goals in Europe,if Jim had played same amount of games he would have gone close to doubling his amount. Lionel Messi is the nearest I have seen to finishing as good as Jim. Good luck Jim on your road to recovery

  16. As a Spurs fan now living in Australia I cam honestly say I have never seen a goal scorer to match Jimmy Greaves. In today’s market he would be beyond price. I left UK in 1970 and for 15 years I watched Spurs and my favourite combination was Greaves & Gilzean, followed by Greaves and big Bobby Smith.

  17. I stood in the stands as a teenager and watch the Great Jimmy Grease at his first game after
    Transferring to Spurs. He scored direct from a corner !!! It was for me greatest pleasure to see him play and will Never forget to see the greatest goal scorer in the UK and never get that recognition!!
    Hope you live to 90 because you are my hero !!! I am over 70 now !!!
    Thanks Jimmy

  18. Jimmy Grease was the greatest goalless scorer that has been seen in England & should be recognize as so, before he passes away, by this club !!!! A Satue should be erected out side Tottenhans new stadium, because He gave his heart & sole to this club !!!
    We will keep fighting for you Jimmy !!!!

    • Jimmy Grease again, and the greatest goal-less scorer ever seen in England, what a player he must have been.
      Plus he gave his sole to the club, quite a gesture, as he only had two.
      Is it in the trophy room?

  19. Nobody has come close to the man..the reason i supported spurs CLASS with both feet and head funny aswell who knew

  20. I too saw the leicester goal, and the man utd goal in 65–there has NEVER been a goalscorer as good as him, gave me the greatest memories, get well Jim, we are all rooting for yoy!

  21. Simply the best. I was taken to Spurs for Jimmy’s debut and watched him many times. He was truly World Class and my favourite player ever.

  22. I wasn’t at the Leicester game, so didn’t get to see Greaves’s brilliant goal but I remember the newspaper report the following day. There was a picture of Leicester defenders on their backsides and Shilton looking on hopelessly as Greaves passed the ball into the net with his usual aplomb. There was a speech bubble coming from Shilton’s mouth, saying “Who said he was finished?” As I recall, Spurs won 3-2 and Greaves scored all three for Spurs. Great memories! Thanks Jimmy.

  23. Like so many people I became a Spurs fan because of Greaves. I was only 8 years old, loved my footy and remember my first FA cup final in 1967 against the Ladyboys. Spurs fan ever since and Greavesie supporter for ever. Living room full of signed photos of the great man.
    Believe Bill Nick had a problem with Jimmy as he didn,t like super stars and he didn,t understand that Jimmy didn,t have that view of himself he loved the club as much as Bill did.
    I shudder to think how many goals Jimmy could have gone on to score, remember Manchester United considered buying him( from Barnet I think) when they were in big trouble in1974.

  24. I was at WHL when he scored that fabulous solo goal against Leicester. The crowd all rose as one and were still applauding after Spurs had kicked off and resumed the match. Peter Shilton said it was the best solo goal ever put past him which was quite some praise considering he was in goal when Maradona waltzed through the England defence.
    Jimmy was our greatest player and the greatest goal scorer I ever saw. He was also a very modest man with
    an incredible sense of humour. I simply loved the guy and still do. I hope you live to be a hundred Jim because
    we will never see the like of someone like you again. An absolute legend and an icon.

  25. Tottenham have had some great players, but no one could score goals like jimmy greave’s it came natural to him. He was and still is my hero, as I have been a spurs supporter since I was a small boy and I ‘am 67 now, as my dad was born in Tottenham. All the best jimmy keep fighting, I hope you live to your 100.

  26. There must be a lot of spurs fans that followed spurs because of greaves.l have followed them since they signed him from italy in the 60s.l saw him play at the lane and every match in the midlands,sheff wed,sheff united,forest etc.I am from derbyshire.The best player i have ever seen and i have see best top players of the 60s,best,law,hurst etc.There will never be another one like him.

  27. A friend of mine who’s from the North went to Burnley to see Spurs who had just bought Greaves from Milan.
    Loads of talk about this Greaves chap, but they were all confident Burnley would mark him out of the game: Greaves only had two touches – to score two goals. Need I say anymore!
    You were my hero, thanks Jimmy.

  28. I was at the Leicester match in October 1968 standing in the Paxton Road end amongst other visiting supporters and recall ‘that’ Greavesy goal. I remember Malcolm Manley, Brian Potts and David Nish falling by the wayside and the anticipation by the Spurs fans telling me what was inevitably going to happen.

    Such a shame that broadcasting cameras were not there to capture it.

  29. I was lucky enough to have been there for the Leicester goal,came down from Bradford can’t forget the bodies lying every while Jim strolled thro as calm as you like,best goal scorer I’ve seen.

  30. Jimmy was the first person they wanted to induct in the hall of fame,. But he would have nothing to do with the club and refused. He only came back for the first time over thirty years later for Bill Nicholsons funeral tribute, since when he softened a bit – unfortunately he was just about to be inducted and he had his terrible stroke. I started watching Tottenham at the end of the 60’s and although he was just past his greatest years he was still a joy to watch.

  31. Jimmy was the reason I became a Spurs fan back in the mid 60’s. His goalscoring records for both Spurs and England are amazing. What a joy to watch, never to be forgotten, my idol, Jimmy Greaves.

  32. Jimmy Greaves was the greatest goal scorer to walk on the planet,was also a wonders passer of the ball and reader of the game.I score many great goals and it always looked easy for him to score that’s way every goal he scored was an education. A sad day when Spurs sold him in the deal for Martin Peters I was in such a bad state of shock it made me ill and I had to have a week off school and that’s true not a joke.Jimmy was the greatest player I ever had the pleasure to watch, he would be priceless today, the nearest player I have seen that gets anywhere near him is Messy but of course he’s playing in a soft erea of football with all the protection you could dream of from the referees ,and of course never wil play ion England.Anyway I wish my hero Jimmy Greaves a good recovery .Thanks for the great memories Jim .COYS

  33. Jimmy Greaves was the greatest goal scorer to walk on the planet, and was also a wonderful passer of the ball and reader of the game. I watched him score many goals and it always looked easy that’s what made every goal he scored an education . It was a sad day when Spurs sold him in the Martin Peters deal, I was in such a bad state of shock it made me ill and I had to have a week off school to recover ,and that’s the truth it’s not a joke.Jimmy was the greatest player I ever had the pleasure to watch, the nearest player to him but no way as good is Messi,but of course he is playing in a soft era of football with lots of protection from the referees , and that protection is right and should have been in place years ago,and of course would he be that good in England ? . Anyway I have had to repost this due to interfering fingers getting to the last post and sending it.Anyway I wish my hero Jimmy Greaves a good recovery ,thanks for all the great memories Jim COYS

    • Hi Patrick. Please see the FB group. Jimmy Greaves should be awarded a knighthood. Tell your friends. We are trying to rectify a terrible injustice to this great player. Thanks. Tim

  34. I was at THE LANE when JIMMY scored his first goal there ..It was for Chelsea v SPURS he was 17 years of age, on a Wednesday afternoon.. He did one of his famous dribbles past I think 4 players, including Danny.. I said to my mate, hope we can sign him one day, never thinking we would.. I have been going since 1945 & nobody has come close to JIMMY for scoring magical goals.. He is always in fans first 11, whatever team is picked.. BLESS YOU JIMMY, ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS .. LOVE you with a Passion & hope you reach 100 at least.. COYS!!.. Or as we used to say when you were playing for us “COME ON YOU LILLYWHITES” ..

  35. I have followed Spurs since 1955 and can honestly say Greaves was the only player I know who could have a stinker of a game with every move going wrong except two kicks and they were goals

  36. The greatest goalscorer in the history of football. And, regrettably it wasn’t with Spurs. Jimmy scored 122 goals (yes, you read that right)for the Chelsea youth team in the 1956-57 season. Remember, this was is in the days of mud-bound pitches, balls that weighed like medicine balls when wet, and clodhopper boots. Unbelievable.

  37. If Jimmy and bill had been part of man Utd history both would have sir in front of there names, with new stadium coming should have statues of both and Dave as well,as Jim himself said Dave was best ever Spurs player

  38. I am a massive MAN UTD fan and still say today as i did in the sixties, that the GREATEST goalscorer i have ever seen (and i have seen most of the greats ) is without doubt JIMMY GREAVES. Who in my opinion should have been Knighted years ago.


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