All-new ‘Greavsie’ film to premiere in February
Wed 15 January 2020, 17:45|Tottenham Hotspur
Our all-time record goalscorer Jimmy Greaves, arguably the greatest striker to grace the game, is the subject of a new film released ahead of his 80th birthday next month.
Greavsie, the latest in the acclaimed BT Sport Films series, will premiere on BT Sport 2 on Tuesday 18 February at 10.30pm, with additional broadcasts over the following week including Saturday 22 February at 7.30pm on BT Sport 2.
Born in East Ham on 20 February, 1940, Jimmy was a goalscoring phenomenon from his early days. He signed professional forms at Chelsea aged 17 in 1957 and scored on his debut against us at White Hart Lane in August, 1957. A star was born. Jimmy scored 132 goals in 169 appearances for the Blues before a transfer to Italy and AC Milan in 1960.
His stay in Serie A was brief and after nine goals in 14 appearances, Bill Nicholson brought him back to England, joining our double-winning squad for a famous £99,999 fee in December, 1961. He hit a hat-trick on his debut against Blackpool and went on to score 266 goals for us in 379 appearances (all competitions). He scored in the FA Cup Final as we defended the trophy in 1962, twice in the Cup Winners’ Cup Final against Atletico Madrid as we became the first British team to triumph in Europe in 1963 and lifted the FA Cup again in 1967.
Jimmy eventually moved to West Ham in 1970 with the late, great Martin Peters moving to Spurs as part of the deal. Jimmy remains 58 goals clear of his early strike partner Bobby Smith (208) in our all-time list with Harry Kane already third on 181.
But that’s only half the story...
Jimmy scored 44 goals in 57 games for England. In 1965, the year before England’s home World Cup, he contracted hepatitis, an illness that took him out of the game for three months. He recovered to make the England squad and played in the first three games of the tournament, but injury then ruled him out of the quarter-final. Geoff Hurst took over – and the rest is history.
Jimmy retired at the end of the 1970/71 season and lost without football, spent much of the 1970s battling alcoholism, but having got himself sober, he got a newspaper column with The Sun and wrote a book with friend Norman Giller called This One’s On Me. His searingly honest documentary Just For Today, based on This One’s On Me, propelled him back into the public spotlight with a wave of support.
After spells on ATV in the Midlands and on the panel for the 1982 World Cup, ITV executives paired Jimmy up with former Liverpool footballer Ian St John - Saint and Greavsie was born. It was a colossal hit, awards were won and Greavsie was a major public figure again.
Sadly, Jimmy suffered a severe stroke in 2015. He survived, but is now wheelchair-bound.
Greavsie features rarely-seen archive and interviews with Harry Redknapp, Sir Geoff Hurst, Ian St John, Denis Law, George Cohen, Cliff Jones, Pat Jennings, Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle, Barry Davies, John Sillett, Alan Mullery, Ron Harris, Steve Perryman, Jimmy Tarbuck, Rio Ferdinand, Jimmy’s family and more, and stands as a fitting tribute to one of the game’s true superstars.
Greavsie - the numbers...
17 - Jimmy's age on his debut - he scored against us for Chelsea in August, 1957
266 - Jimmy's goals for Spurs in 379 competitive appearances, 1961-70
3 - Jimmy won the FA Cup twice and the Cup Winners' Cup at Spurs
357 - Jimmy's top-flight goals between 1957-71 - still a record
6 - Jimmy was top-scorer in Division One six times - still a record
37 - Jimmy scored 37 league goals in 1962/63 - still a Club record
44 - Jimmy's goals in 57 England caps