Spurs' Cult Heroes - Fans' Memories

Spurs’ Cult Heroes – Your Memories of Jimmy Greaves…

Jimmy Greaves. No two ways about it, a true Tottenham legend – and AANP wants to hear your memories of the man, from both on and off the pitch. Our record goalscorer is, naturally enough, one of the players featuring in Spurs’ Cult Heroes, the forthcoming book looking at players who achieved legendary status amongst us fans for what they did at the club.
Not everyone was lucky enough to have seen him in action, but if you did, or somehow came into contact with him, please do share…

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33 replies on “Spurs’ Cult Heroes – Your Memories of Jimmy Greaves…”

Yes I am truly priveledged to have watched The Great Jimmy at White Hot lane as I still to it by. However one of the most pleasing moments was while at a local park where he was signing books at that time, he saw me dare I say a youngster then with a Spurs shirt on. He actualy got up and came over and asked me how I was. You can picture the pure delight on my face as armed with The great one’s autograph I was the the envy of all the nearby kids. A truly fantastic and memeorable event in m,y youth Thank you Jimmy you truly are the greatest

Jimmy scored the greatest goal ever against Leicester City in a Division 1 league game.

Pat Jennings kicked the ball from his enormous hands to Jimmy standing on the halfway line in fron of the Shelf stand. Instant control on his instep took him diagonally towards the Paxton road end goal. He beat the first man with his first control and aclerated past the second with a deft swivel and dip of his right shoulder. He straightened his run on goal and dragged the ball back and away from the third defender. By this stage the crowd were beggining to expect something special and an almost deathly silence came as the crowd held its colective breath. By this stage Jimmy was facing the goal and he drew the next defender and put him on his backside as the next fall guy entered the frame. In a split second Jimmy slide the ball past him and Peter Shilton the young pretender to goalkeeper Gorden Banks throne made his move towards Jimmys feet. Too late Jimmy casually slide the ball past the prone goalkeeping and it rolled sublimely into the net just inside the post on the shelf side.

Afterwards on the way home Billy Nick was interviews by the BBC news reporter at the game and he asked if this was Jimmys greatest goal? Billy Nick not recognised for giving over praise was fulsome in the greatnest of what the White Hart Lane faithful had seen. THis supports my view of the goal and my dreams of the genius that was Jimmy Greaves

1. Free kick to opposition in area. Jimmy walking back. Ball kicked in from wing to keeper, behind Jimmy and nearly shoulder height. Nonchalantly stuck leg out and up behind him and diverted the ball into goal. Great applause but was booked!

2. Home to Newcastle (late 60’s?) who were pushing hard for the league championship. Pressed back into our own half for the whole of the game, Jimmy standing on half-way line, marked by Newc captain (maybe Moncur?). Twice we got the ball to Jimmy and he ran from there to Newc area, harrassed by Moncur. Scored both times and we won 2-1 with barely any posessipon, let alone in their half!

I remember his hat trick in his debut against Blackpool plus one in 62 cup final and two in Rotterdam cup winners cup final I was at all of these games and many many more. Not long after Jim had joined us some of us young fans were waiting outside Chelsea’s ground after we had beaten them when out walked the man himself hello he said is this my Spurs bodyguard. He was and is a smashing bloke who has never been big headed or flash. Thanks for all the great memories Jim. With my old mate Bobby Smith you were the greatest strike force ever bar none.

Greaves would never sign an autograph unless he was paid. I had to buy his bio to get it. He once barged me out of the way to get into the pub when as a 13 year old fan I stopped him outside the spurs office after training. greatest ever goal scorer tho.

Without question the greatest scorer of goals, many unique, that our great club have ever had or indeed likely to have. If you asked 99% of the players who have worn the famous white shirt they would say it was an honour they will always cherish. Every once in a while a player come along where that position is reversed when the club should be honoured that a player chose our great club to give us supporters the pleasure and privilege of watching them. Greavsie along with several others belong in that unique band of men. Thank you Greavsie for all the pleasure, excitement and goals you gave us. I remember one against Chelsea in a 2 – 2 draw at Stamford Bridge, Jimbo received the ball back to goal, killed it instantly, swivelled and hit a shot with such ferocity from the angle of the box that it got wedged between the netting and the stanchion so hard it took several seconds to free it, I remember someone in the crowd shouting ” only Jimmy could do that”. That was so true, he could score goals that made your heart swell with pride and bring tears to your eyes. James Peter Greaves a true Tottenham legend.

the reason it sticks in my mind was that this happened around 1967 and the great dave mackay was with Jim at the time and he spat on the floor in front of me and said ‘you can have that instead’. Nice one.

I mentioned this to DM at a match that I saw him at last season. He denied it of course and said it must have been JG. I didnt bother to argue.

just goes to show that heroes are human.

RE-Garry Wright,
You have stole my thunder,I could not have put it any better myself.Still a season ticket holder today,I was 14 then, and to this day that is still the greatest goal I’ve ever seen.The great shame is,there were no cameras there that day,if there were it would be voted in the top 3 of all time.

Spurs beat Burnley 8 – 0; about 1968.
After the match a reporter said to Jimmy
“you scored five today – so why aren’t you happy?”
“The ones I missed mate, the ones I missed”
Top man was Jimmy.

Spurs v West Ham

Jimmy and the great Bobby Moore got in a bit of a tangle as Moore pulled Jimmy back and a free kick was awarded to Spurs. Jimmy with a smile all over his face ran at Booby and locked their arms with Jimy twisting Booby around. Moor and Jimmy both laughing got a tense derby crowd laughing with them

What players What men

Jimmy Greaves’ debut
It was the last Saturday before Christmas, December 1961.
Greaves’ debut had been held up by registration bueaucracy and he’d scored (twice?) for the reserves at Plymouth the previous week.
Now here he was, trotting out in those long baggy shorts – not fashionable in those days.
We had our usual spot “Behind the Boards” (later known as the Shelf), level with the Park Lane penalty area.
For 30 minutes, Greaves ambled around, contributing little to the match against Blackpool.
Then: a throw-in from the right, helped on and Greaves with an overhead scissor kick into the back of the net !!!!!!
Moments later, a second goal. We screamed ourselves hoarse, banging the wooden planking with our hands, delirious with excitement.
In the second half, Greaves did a Roy-of-the-Rovers run down the length of the middle of the field, leaving Blackpool defenders spreadeagled in his wake. His shot hit the base of the RH post and Les Allen knocked in the rebound. Those moments remain fixed in my mind’s eye to this day.

greavsie was the best player i ever saw in a spurs shirt
i remember spurs v leicster league game he picked up the ball on the halfwayline by the touchline beat 4 players with the ball and slotted past mark wallington leaving all 4 defenders who tried to tackle him on the ground in a diagonal line

Gary Wright stole my thunder, but just add to the story, Leicester were bottom of the league at that time, and had only scored once away from home so far that season.

Even in those days, Spurs were prone to use relegation contenders like bananna skins, and Leicester went 2-0 up. Spurs won the match with all three goals being scored by JG.

I always remember him as what I called a “buzz” player. The game might have started to get boring, then JG got the ball, and the crowd started to buzz. There was always an anticipation from the crowd when he got the ball.

I forgot to add, and Norm’s post has reminded me of this, though the TV wasn’t there that day, the press snappers got a picture of the goal. There was a line of Leicester players down on one knee with the other strteched out. That was how quick it was

best ever and reason i’ve been a spurs fan for over forty years. never forget those two goals against newcastle. always remember him running round goalkeepers and slotting the ball into the net like he was playing a game in the local park. and him and gilzean were absolute heroes to me as a boy but who remembers him scoring a “bullet header” against derby county from the around the penalty spot from a corner lol. greavsie was the greatest ever, thanks for the memories Jimmy

I remenber Jimmy scoring with a bullet header from just inside the area at the Paxton road end against Preston in the cup. He did not get many with his head but was as good as anyone when given the chance

My hero as a young un. He scored from every where even the corner flag against Liverpool.
A true hero who would bring the White Hart Lane noise up 20 notches.
Great partnership with Gilzean also.

Met the great man twice and got pix with him both times. . .once outside Ninian Park in Cardiff before Wales vs England home international and also in Toronto when Spurs played Rangers in a summer friendly. . .got a pix and autograph. . .and, lol, named my one and only pet, a budgie, Jimmy, after the great man. One of the main and many reasons I became a Spurs fan — the incomparable Jimmy Greaves. They threw away the mould after guys like Greavsie, Best, etc.

jimmy greaves was the greatest goal scorer to put on a spurs shirt and i cannot see him bettered ever. he was by boyhood hero,the only downside was that he missed the world cup final through injury in 66 thats all history now. thanks for the memories jimmy you are still the greatest for me and a true gentalman

I remember when Greavsie first came to play for Spurs. Can’t remember who the game was against but I do remember that he always looked as though he could beat any defender with the dip of his shoulder and he was away. I never remember him scoring goals from 30/40 yards but inside the box he rarely missed. He had that air about him that he almost expected to score every time he got the ball. To think I saw him playing at his best, it was a privilege. Thanks Jim !

I am fortunate to be one of those lucky enough to see Greavsie play at White Hart Lane. Though unfortunate never having met him. I would love to shake his hand and thank him for so many memories. Those really were the days. I think the mark of the man was a packed WHL for his testimonial, in which he scored. It could be argued he was a shade offside when he put it away though. It’s a funny old game and he is an absolute diamond geezer. Good luck Jimmy.

Jimmy Greaves – my all time football superstar bar none.

Great reading the other memories here – I was there for most of them too. Especially that goal against Leicester (glad some of you can still remember all the minutia – funny how a few seconds decades ago are burned in the brain forever) – probably the greatest goal those of us who saw it will ever see.

When Owens scored THAT goal against Argentina in the World Cup I said to my son – finally, we’ve got another Jimmy Greaves! (Not quite, but close for a while.)

So many memories – basically it was the excitement when he got the ball. You always knew that if Greavsie got put through with half a chance he was going to score, it was inevitable. Of course things have tightened up defensively since then, but they couldn’t stop Jimmy – he’d be even better today with all the training, skills, nutrition (no pre-match roast dinners these days!) and the swervy ball.

And his testimonial when he scored – how fitting that there was a hint of offside! If the Ref had blown that one up he would have been lynched! What a happy crowd that night.

One more memory – Upton Park, night game late 60’s, I had my Spurs colours on. me and my mate leaving the game, I got jumped by a mob of Hammers wankers (20 on 1 and they thought they were hard), my mate legged it (some mate) and I got a right kicking just outside. Worth it thought – Greavsie had scored and we’d won!

What a great 10 years of Jimmy at the Lane, I’ll never forget it. (and all for about a shilling each week!) In the unlikely event Jimmy ever reads this blog (he’s got better things to do no doubt!) – thanks mate, you are my #1 Spurs legend and undoubtedly the greatest goalscorer England’s ever had.

Like many, Jim was my boyhood hero and I started supporting Spurs the instant he signed. I didn’t see the great goal against Leicester, but the newspaper description is etched on my brain. I think there was a flick on by Gilzean after it left Jennings boot. 1968 I think, and wasn’t there a young pretender recently signed for Leicester by the name of Allan Clarke? I was there for the Preston cup game, with all the Spurs fans chanting “Jimmy for England”. He’d just returned from injury and was playing number 7. Cyril almost scored with an almighty drive from the left edge of the penalty area. Bounced back off the post and went for a throw in, I think. Not so hard and Jim would have popped it in.

Imagine what he’d have been like if: 1. he hadn’t smoked; 2. hadn’t boozed so much; 3. had followed modern nutritional advice; 4. hadn’t got hepatitis (he said it cost him a yard of pace); 5. hadn’t got his shin gashed to the bone in the World Cup game against France in 66.

I have loads of memories of Grievsy, when he got the ball you could feel the crowd react, as if they knew something could happen, and the great goals were endless. But my favourite memory was a penalty against Chelsea. Bonetti was in goal, Greaves stopped his run up and pointed to Bonetti’s hat and gloves in the corner of the net. And whilst Bonetti went to move them, Greavsie calmly kicked the ball into the opposite corner. Chelsea went mad, Greavsie laughed and the goal stood!! What a character.

I have watched and played the game since 1948 and Jim was/is the finest striker I have ever seen
One of my sons was an apprentice at Southend where Danny Greaves was youth coach and I was lucky enough to meet the great jim, truly a gent and what you saw was what you got
Thank you Jim it was an honour to watch the greatest

I was lucky enough to see Jimmy’s debut for Chelsea against the spurs.
I said to my dad this wonder boy Greave’s is not that great, as he had hardly touched the ball, no sooner had the words left my lips, when Jimmy seized the ball and proceeded to go past Ryden, then Danny , then Norman and slotted the ball home past Reynolds leaving four spurs players prostrate on the turf, also the Blackpool debut hat trick, people forget he hit the woodwork three times as well, he could with a bit of luck scored six that day.
I have watched football for over fifty years, and have never seen anyone in his league, in fact I doubt if anybody will in the next hundred, Jim was just simply light years ahead of his time.

As a Leicester City fan,i can honestly say that the goal he scored that day was the only goal ive ever been pleased to see scored against my team…
i remember the crowd still applauding as they restarted the game.. the picture in the paper the next day of experienced defenders John Sjoberg,Graham Cross and Peter Shilton looking on… all on the floor after trying to stop him said it all…im still to see a better goal

The goal against Leicester City where Jimmy dribbled past four defenders before sliding the ball past Peter Shilton had the caption in the Sunday newspaper “Who said he’s finished” and a picture of all of the defenders looking on with Jimmy finishing the job. Like many schoolboys I wanted to be JG when I grew up and even tried to model my goalscoring on the Greaves style. Impossible of course as JG was unique and the greatest footballer of his time. If he was playing today, he would be just as prolific in goal scoring. The only time I didn’t want Jimmy to score was when Millwall played Spurs at the Den in the 67 FA cup and being a lions supporter I panicked every time Jimmy got the ball as a goal seemed inevitable. The game was a draw and in the reply spurs knocked us out and guess who scored for spurs. In 1970-71 when JG was playing for West Ham I went to the Liverpool game at Upton Park to see Jimmy for the last time. He didn’t disappoint and scored a blinding goal. I was standing close to the half way line and watched him close to me pick up the ball. There appeared no danger and in a flash he went past two defenders and when Clemence came out to narrow the angle, Jimmy simply curled the ball round him and it was in the back of the net. Thanks Jimmy.

went to see spurs play ipswich in sixes not a very good game I said to my mates shall we go home it was 4.30 pm when we got to the car 30.mintures later turned on radio to listen to the scores .first words jimmy greaves scored a 3 late goals we never left a game after that .seen jimmy in his shows if he is near you go and see you will come out happy.

Same as Jim Estall – I always remember the picture in the paper following his fabulous goal against the young Peter Shilton – from behind the goal a picture of Greavesie sliding the ball past Shilton with 4 ( I think ) Leicester players he had dribbled past laying on the gound looking towards goal – with the ‘balloon’ caption “who said he’s finished” The reason I picked this string of comments up was that I’d typed the caption words into Google to see if the picture was around – if anyone has it pls post on Youtube or something! I was also (as a young 13 year old) at the Den for the 3rd round cup game – 40,000 dockers!! the only memory flaw Jim – Alan Gilzean scored the only goal in the replay at a packed WHL.

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