Monday, October 18, 2021

Jimmy Greaves: World Cup hat-trick hero Hurst, Kane and Southgate pay tribute to Tottenham great

SoccerNews in English Premier League 19 Sep 2021

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Geoff Hurst, Harry Kane and Gareth Southgate were among the many to pay tribute to Jimmy Greaves after the Tottenham, Chelsea and England great died at the age of 81.

World Cup winner Greaves, the leading goalscorer in the history of the English top flight, passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The clinical striker scored a staggering 357 goals in 516 First Division games and ended six seasons as the highest scorer.

Greaves is Spurs’ record marksman, having found the back of the net an incredible 266 times in 379 appearances, and is fourth on the list of England’s leading scorers, with 44 from 57 matches – including a record six hat-tricks.

He won the World Cup on home soil in 1966, but sustained an injury and had to watch on as Geoff Hurst, his replacement, scored a hat-trick in a dramatic final victory over West Germany at Wembley.

Hurst tweeted: “One of the truly great goal scorers, terrific guy with an absolutely brilliant sense of humour, the best. It has been a difficult time for him, he can now rest in peace.”

England captain and Spurs striker Kane also paid tribute to Greaves, who went on to become a brilliant broadcaster, ahead of Sunday’s London derby with Chelsea.

He posted on social media: “RIP Jimmy Greaves. A true legend and one of the great goalscorers. Thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Three Lions boss Southgate said the exploits of Greaves, who also played for Milan and West Ham, will never be forgotten.

He said in a statement: “Jimmy Greaves was someone who was admired by all who love football, regardless of club allegiances.

“I was privileged to able to meet Jimmy’s family last year at Tottenham Hotspur as the club marked his 80th birthday. My thoughts are with them and I know the entire game will mourn his passing.

“Jimmy certainly deserves inclusion in any list of England’s best players, given his status as one of our greatest goalscorers and his part in our 1966 World Cup success.

“We will pay tribute to his memory at our home match with Hungary at Wembley Stadium next month. His place in our history will never be forgotten.”

Spurs stated: “We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the great Jimmy Greaves. We extend our deepest sympathies to Jimmy’s family and friends at this sad time. Rest in peace, Jimmy.”

Cliff Jones, a team-mate of Greaves’ at Tottenham, posted: “Happy memories with my friend & teammate @jimmy_greaves. Condolences to Irene & family, love Cliff , Joan & all the Jones family xx”

Former Spurs and England midfielder Glenn Hoddle tweeted: “Such sad news this morning on Jimmy’s passing. A true legend of the game, love and thoughts to all of Jimmy’s family. R.I.P.”

Ex-England striker Alan Shearer also paid tribute to Greaves, posting: “RIP Legend. Goals, Goals, Goals. A remarkable goal scorer.”

Shearer’s former England team-mate Michael Owen wrote: “Sad to hear that the Great Jimmy Greaves passed away earlier today. He was a generation before my time but my dad always said he was the best finisher in the game. Rest In Peace Jimmy.”

Ian Wright was another prolific striker to pay tribute, posting: “The first footballer’s name I ever heard from my teacher. “No Ian! Finish like Jimmy Greaves!” May he rest in peace.”

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