Jimmy Greaves, England’s most lethal striker, passes away
Injury denied him a role in England's greatest triumph, but Jimmy Greaves, who died on Sunday aged 81, will be remembered as one of the most prolific strikers in English football history.
With 366 goals in 528 top-flight appearances for Chelsea, AC Milan, Tottenham and West Ham, he scored more goals in Europe's five major championships than any other player until Cristiano Ronaldo finally surpassed his total in 2017.
Greaves also found the net 44 times for England and while a gashed leg stopped him playing in the 1966 World Cup final win over West Germany, his breath-taking strike rate ensured his legacy remained secure.
Only Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker and record holder Wayne Rooney have scored more England goals than Greaves. "I had a goal drought once," Greaves used to quip during after-dinner speeches. "Worst 15 minutes of my career."
A short, quick and remarkably sure-footed player, Greaves struck the ball unerringly with both feet and was renowned for the deliberateness of his finishing, often rounding the goalkeeper to score.
"When he got the ball in the penalty box, the world stopped," remembered Greaves' former West Ham team-mate Harry Redknapp.
"It was like somebody had hit pause on the television screen. The action around him carried on, but Jim appeared to be operating in another dimension; slower, calmer, making his mind up oblivious to the surrounding frenzy."
His 266 goals in 379 games for Tottenham make him the club's all-time leading scorer and he also scored 132 times in 169 games for Chelsea. Fifty years after his retirement from the professional game, his goal-scoring feats still rank alongside the best of the sport's modern stars.