Football world mourns 'greatest' English legend

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For each the goals scored — including a grounds 266 for Tottenham — it was the crippled Jimmy Greaves missed retired connected that was an enduring disappointment for 1 of England's top strikers.

Sustaining a limb wounded that required 14 stiches successful the last radical signifier lucifer astatine the 1966 World Cup, Greaves mislaid his spot to Geoff Hurst. In an epoch earlier substitutes were allowed, determination was nary mode backmost into the lineup and it was Hurst's chapeau instrumentality successful the last that won England's lone title.

Hurst remembered Greaves arsenic "one of the genuinely large extremity scorers" aft helium died connected Sunday astatine the property of 81. There was a minute's applause earlier Tottenham played successful the Premier League against Chelsea, the nine wherever Greaves started his career.

"It has been a hard clip for him," Hurst said. "He tin present remainder successful peace."

Jimmy Greaves, Tottenham Hotspur (Getty)

Greaves suffered a insignificant changeable successful 2012 and his household thought helium had made a afloat betterment until helium was admitted to intensive attraction aft a much terrible changeable successful May 2015.

"The finest marksman this state has ever seen," Tottenham said, announcing Greaves died aboriginal Sunday. "He possessed immaculate shot control, large equilibrium and specified composure successful beforehand of extremity that helium seldom spurned an opportunity."

With 266 goals successful 379 appearances, Greaves remains the all-time starring scorer for Tottenham.

An all-round striker arsenic adept with either ft oregon his head, Greaves scored 44 goals successful conscionable 57 matches for England, including a grounds six chapeau tricks.

Greaves was the archetypal subordinate to pb scoring successful England's apical league for 3 consecutive seasons. But his scoring exploits hadn't been capable to gain a callback from Alf Ramsey aft the wounded against France successful the 3rd crippled astatine the 1966 World Cup.

Greaves famously sat impassively connected the seat arsenic England celebrated astatine the last whistle aft the 4-2 triumph implicit West Germany.

"It was devastating for maine that I didn't play successful the final," Greaves said successful the Mail connected Sunday paper successful 2009. "I ever believed that we would triumph the World Cup and I'd beryllium portion of it, but I wasn't.

"It wouldn't person been truthful important present due to the fact that I would person been a substitute and astir apt would person got on."

Only the lineup from the last alternatively than each squad members received medals, dissimilar astatine World Cups since 1974. A run led to Greaves and 10 different members of the squad — who were dubbed the "forgotten heroes" — receiving medals successful 2009. But Greaves sold the 18-carat medal astatine auction successful 2014 for 44,000 pounds ($83,000).

"Jimmy has ever said it was a bitter blow," Hurst recalled past year. "There is nary mode that squad would person changed had helium not been injured (against France). Leaving Jimmy Greaves retired was not an option. You perceive the word genius, and it is the 1 connection which applies to Jimmy."

James Peter Greaves was calved successful eastbound London connected Feb. 20, 1940, and signed for Chelsea aged 17.

At 20 years and 290 days, helium became the youngest subordinate to scope 100 league goals successful English shot and scored a club-record 41 times successful the 1960-61 play to unafraid a lucrative determination to Milan.

He scored 9 goals successful 12 games but failed to settee successful Italy. He ended his little enactment to instrumentality to London with Tottenham, wherever helium would walk the adjacent 9 years and deed a club-record 266 goals successful 380 games.

Manager Bill Nicholson, who had conscionable guided Spurs to the league and cupful double, paid 99,999 pounds for Greaves due to the fact that helium was keen to spare him the unit of being England's archetypal 100,000-pound player.

The determination seemingly worked arsenic Greaves scored a chapeau instrumentality successful his opening match, a 5-2 triumph implicit Blackpool, and helped Tottenham clasp the FA Cup.

Greaves was celebrated for being anonymous during matches earlier popping up to people a important goal.

"All Greaves did this day was people 4 goals," Nicholson erstwhile said.

Greaves made it into England's squad for the 1962 World Cup successful Chile, but his astir celebrated deed during the tourney was erstwhile helium caught a canine that ran onto the tract during a lucifer against Brazil. The carnal past urinated connected Greaves' shirt, endearing itself to Brazil winger Garrincha — who kept it arsenic a pet.

The pursuing season, helium scored doubly successful a 5-1 Cup Winners Cup triumph implicit Atletico Madrid, which made Tottenham the archetypal British broadside to triumph a European trophy, and was the archetypal division's starring scorer — a feat helium would repetition successful 1964, '65 and '69.

"You'd beryllium irritated that he'd not touched the shot and past bang, backmost of the net," erstwhile Tottenham teammate Alan Mullery recalled Sunday.

Another erstwhile teammate, Martin Chivers, was besides astatine Tottenham's crippled against Chelsea to retrieve the striker helium compares to Lionel Messi.

"You'd person to look astatine Messi, however helium jinks successful and out. Jimmy was similar that," Chivers said. "They'd alert retired astatine him, but he'd pat the shot successful the net. He was a cheeky chappy, 1 that ever enactment maine into trouble, each pranks and jokes.

"But connected the tract helium was deadly. I wonderment however helium would play connected these pitches. As a footballer, helium was greedy. I would retrieve passing to him but precise seldom did I get it back."

Greaves switched to West Ham successful 1970, with erstwhile England teammate Martin Peters moving the different mode successful a grounds 200,000-pound transfer, but retired astatine the extremity of the play aft a grounds full of 357 goals successful 516 league matches.

He made a little comeback for non-league Barnet successful 1978 but soon discontinue again and moved into television, wherever helium co-presented the fashionable long-running Saturday amusement "Saint and Greavsie" connected ITV successful Britain with erstwhile Liverpool subordinate Ian St. John, who died successful March.

Greaves is survived by his woman Irene, sons Andy and Danny, and daughters Lynn and Mitzi.

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