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A Perfect Start!

From Greaves and Chivers to Adebayor and Soldado, Tottenham Hotspur players have a rich history of scoring on their debuts for us, as Andy Greeves discovers.

Jimmy Greaves was a goalscoring legend throughout his career and one who made a habit of scoring on his debut.

His first appearance as a professional would fittingly come at White Hart Lane on August 24, 1957, as he found the back of the net for Chelsea in a 1-1 draw with us.

Goals_GreavesHe moved from Stamford Bridge to AC Milan briefly in 1961, where he was also on target on his debut before Bill Nicholson brought him here to N17 in the winter of that year for a fee of £99,999.

Greaves’ Tottenham debut came against Blackpool on December 16, 1961, and those who were there that afternoon will never forget his hat-trick in a 5-2 win over the Tangerines.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better debut for my new club,” wrote Jimmy on the game against Blackpool in his 2003 autobiography ‘Greavsie.’ “I scored a hat-trick, the first goal a flying scissors kick which I still rate as one of the most spectacular goals I ever scored.

“I’ll never forget that first one. Dave Mackay was a long-throw specialist who could hurl the ball into opponent’s box from fully 40 yards.  I thought about cushioning the ball on my chest with a view to laying it off to a team-mate but bit the bullet and had a go at goal.

“Fortunately I got it right. I’d seen a gap to the left of the Blackpool keeper Tony Waiters, aimed in that direction and the ball flew into the net as sweet as a nut. I think that goal did a lot to endear me to the Tottenham supporters; in many ways I had signalled not only my arrival at White Hart Lane, but also my intentions.”

Greaves (pictured, right) scored a club record 266 goals in 379 matches for us between 1961 and 1970, including 220 goals in 321 league appearances. He finished as top League goalscorer in 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1969 in our colours and his feat of finishing top goal scorer in six top flight seasons in English football overall – which he also achieved at Chelsea in 1959 and 1961 – has never been matched.

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