The PFA is deeply saddened by the passing of former Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Jimmy Greaves, aged 81.
Greaves started his career with Chelsea, quickly making an impression at youth level scoring 51 goals in the 1955-56 season and 122 in the 1956-57 season. Aged 17, Greaves made his First Division debut in August 1957 against, rather ironically, Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, scoring for the Blue’s in a 1-1 draw. He would go on to score 132 goals in 169 matches for the side between 1957 and 1961 before moving to Milan; his 41-goal haul in the First Division in 1960/61 still stands as Chelsea’s record for a single season.
Although brief, his time in Italy was just as impressive with 9 goals in 14 Serie A matches. He made his return to the First Division joining Spurs in December 1961.
He would go on to score a hat-trick on his Spurs debut against Blackpool in December 1961, in the FA Cup final win in 1962 and twice in the Cup Winners' Cup win in 1963 as Spurs became the first British club to win a European trophy. Greaves also topped the First Division goalscoring charts in 1964/65 with 29 goals, becoming the first player to do so in three consecutive seasons. He left Spurs in in 1970, to join West Ham United, retiring at the end of the 1970/71 season at the age of 31.
After his retirement, Greaves moved into broadcasting and presented the popular Saturday lunchtime show 'Saint and Greavsie' with former Liverpool striker Ian St John, between 1985 and 1992.
Greaves won his first England cap for the Three Lions in May 1959; a member of England’s World Cup winning squad in 1966, he won a total of 57 caps and scored 44 goals between his debut and his final appearance in 1967. Notably, he is fourth on the list of all-time England goalscorers, and the only player to have scored 6 hat-tricks for the side.
He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list at the end of 2020.
As the tributes continue to pour in from those across the football community, all at the PFA send our condolences to Jimmy’s family and friends at this sad time.
To listen to the BBC Special ‘Remembering Jimmy Greaves’, click here.