Football stars attend funeral of legendary striker Jimmy Greaves

Goodbye Greavsie: Football stars arrive for funeral of legendary striker Jimmy Greaves after one of England’s greatest-ever goalscorers and much-loved TV pundit died aged 81

  • Former Tottenham Hotspur Harry Redknapp and Ossie Ardiles attend funeral for Jimmy Greaves today 
  • Ex-Spurs players Micky Hazard, Steve Perryman, Graham Roberts, Martin Chivers and Paul Miller also there
  • Former stars appear in good spirits as they speak with each other outside Chelmsford Crematorium, Essex
  • Striker Greaves who died aged 81 on September 19 holds the record of 266 goals for Tottenham Hotspur

A raft of Tottenham Hotspur greats including former bosses Harry Redknapp and Ossie Ardiles attended the funeral for legendary footballer Jimmy Greaves this afternoon.

Ex-Spurs players including Micky Hazard, Steve Perryman, Graham Roberts, Martin Chivers and Paul Miller were at the service at Chelmsford Crematorium in Essex, along with television sports presenter Gary Newbon. 

The former stars appeared in good spirits as they spoke with each other upon their arrival before the private funeral, which was held after former England, Tottenham and Chelsea striker Greaves died aged 81. 

Greaves, who passed away at home on September 19, holds the record of 266 goals for Tottenham Hotspur, 357 goals in English top-flight football, and scored a record six hat-tricks for England. 

He had suffered a stroke in May 2015 which left him wheelchair-bound and with severely impaired speech. He had also suffered from alcoholism and quit drinking in 1978. 

Former Tottenham Hotspur managers Harry Redknapp (left) and Ossie Ardiles (right) at Chelmsford Crematorium today

Former Tottenham Hotspur players Micky Hazard (left) and Steve Perryman (right) arriving before the funeral today

Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp (left) and ex-player Paul Miller (right) at Chelmsford Crematorium today

Harry Redknapp (centre) with former Spurs players Graham Roberts (second left) and Ossie Ardiles (right) in Essex today

Former Tottenham Hotspur player Martin Chivers (left) and television presenter Gary Newbon (right) at the funeral today

Floral tributes outside before the funeral at Chelmsford Crematorium today in tribute to former striker Jimmy Greaves

Jimmy Greaves (pictured in 2013) holds the record of 266 goals for Tottenham Hotspur and 357 in English top-flight football

His Spurs return was 266 goals in 379 appearances between 1961 and 1970 – 220 goals in 321 league games, 32 goals in 36 FA Cup ties, five in eight League Cup ties and nine in 14 European matches.

Greaves scored 44 goals in 57 senior appearances for England, fourth-highest in Three Lions history.

By numbers: Jimmy Greaves’s amazing career

  • 114 – goals scored for the youth team after signing for Chelsea in 1956.
  • 17 – Greaves’ age when he made his first-team debut for Chelsea, scoring in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham.
  • 100 – number of league goals Greaves had scored by the age of 20. He remains the youngest player to reach the landmark.
  • 99, 999 – the fee in pounds paid by Tottenham to sign Greaves from AC Milan in 1961.
  • 132 – goals for Chelsea in 169 games.
  • 44 – goals scored for England in 57 matches. He is still fourth on the all-time list behind Wayne Rooney (53), Bobby Charlton (49) and Gary Lineker (48).
  • 6 – hat-tricks scored for England still stands as a record today.
  • 41 – number of goals for Chelsea in 40 league games during the 1960/61 season is still a club record at Stamford Bridge.
  • 266 – goals for Tottenham in 379 appearances means Greaves remains Spurs’ record goalscorer.

But though he was a member of the 1966 World Cup-winning squad, he famously did not feature in the final victory over West Germany.

A shin injury had seen him replaced in the side by Geoff Hurst at the quarter-final stage, and though he was fit for the final, Alf Ramsey’s decision not to change a winning side was vindicated by Hurst’s hat-trick on the day.

Greaves’s career began in the junior ranks at Chelsea and he turned professional in May 1957, scoring on his Blues debut and racking up 132 goals in total for the club.

His return of 41 goals from 40 games for Chelsea during the 1960/61 season remains a club record.

At the end of that season Greaves left Stamford Bridge to sign for AC Milan, but spent only a few months in Italy before joining Spurs in December 1961 to play in Bill Nicholson’s successful side.

Tottenham described him as ‘the finest marksman this country has ever seen’ said he was ‘always in the right place at the right time to add the finishing touch to another well-worked move’. 

After nine years at White Hart Lane Greaves joined West Ham, the club closest to his East London roots, in 1970.

Though it would not prove a happy stay at Upton Park, the 13 league goals he scored for the Hammers took him to 366 goals in Europe’s top-five leagues.

That stood as the all-time record until it was eclipsed by Cristiano Ronaldo during Real Madrid’s superb 2016-17 campaign.

Greaves took a break from the game after leaving West Ham, but later played in the lower divisions, turning out for Brentwood, Chelmsford, Barnet and Woodford Town.

After ending his playing career, Greaves starred alongside former Liverpool striker Ian St John in the popular ITV programme ‘Saint and Greavsie’ between 1985 and 1992, which saw him become a popular pundit.

Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp (right) arrive for Jimmy Greaves’s funeral at Chelmsford Crematorium today

Former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp (centre) with Ossie Ardiles (right) arriving at Chelmsford Crematorium today

Former Tottenham Hotspur player Paul Miller (left) and Ossie Ardiles (right) arrive before the funeral in Essex this afternoon

The casket is carried inside before the funeral at Chelmsford Crematorium in Essex this afternoon

The casket arrives by hearse before the funeral for Jimmy Greaves at Chelmsford Crematorium this afternoon

A photograph taken in May 1967 of Jimmy Greaves in training for Tottenham ahead of the FA Cup final against Chelsea

After a long campaign for his England achievements of 1966 to be recognised, Greaves finally received a World Cup winners’ medal in 2009; five years later he sold it in an auction at Sotheby’s for £44,000.

In later life, Greaves endured health problems, including a minor stroke in 1992 from which he recovered.

However, a serious stroke in May 2015 left him unconscious for six days in intensive care, and he remained in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. 

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