Tag Archives: Jimmy Greaves

Is it a Hall of Fame without Greavsie and Gillie?

Having read In Search of Alan Gilzean and Jimmy Greaves’ article in the People on Sunday a couple of weeks back I am left with mixed thoughts. I can understand what both men are saying about returning to White Hart Lane but something about it doesn’t sit well with me.

Both men wish to have an element of privacy and might not enjoy fans fawning over them for the duration of the visit but the facts are these are two of the greatest players alive who played for our club and they are not in our Hall of Fame.

Can this be right? I cannot believe for a moment that the Hall of Fame stands up to scrutiny without their inclusion so something needs to be done. Or does it?

It was my understanding that Jimmy disliked the dinner idea where fans pay lots of money to see their hero and get an autograph or photo but he or the players concerned get nothing at all from it. Jimmy is better off than some of his contemporaries, Alan included I would suspect, and can earn money from his fans through his stand up shows but others are not so lucky and his attitude may relate to their plight.

Alan on the other hand had stepped right out of the spotlight until James Morgan got him inducted into the Scottish Hall of Fame. In “Big Chiv” it’s made very clear that Alan is a fiercely patriotic Scot so it would have been difficult for him not to attend and accept his award. He appeared deeply moved, calling it quite rightly “the best night of his life in sport” and those in the audience would no doubt be astounded about the goal scoring feats that Craig Brown talked of in the European Cup. Click here and scroll down to see induction speech and interview

But to get him back to White Hart Lane? I have made suggestions along these lines, mainly in ignorance of his circumstances but knowing that he is so well respected that if he were down on his luck it may be a boost to him. Having learned differently by reading the book I wouldn’t want to force Gillie back into the spotlight or to force him to come face to face with his ex-colleagues if he wanted to avoid it.

But still I feel that all parties, and I include the club in this, might benefit in some small way by dealing with this Hall of Fame thing. With them out its discredited in my mind so that has to be put right but the G Men also need to accept their rightful places within that group.

I say this as we look towards building a new stadium and leaving behind their spiritual home. Walking away from the ground last Saturday it looks like some work is already ongoing behind the street façade. In the summer I visited the Camp Nou’s fantastic visitor centre and museum. Spurs have the opportunity to do something like this but if they do everyone has to be inside the tent. You cannot have the record scorer and best striker the south – if not the country –  has produced and the best header of a ball from north of the border out in the cold.

If that is the case then can a compromise not be sought? Anything is possible if communication takes place. For all we know this might be ongoing and I really hope it is.

One solution is to invite them to a game as guests of honour and make the Hall of Fame inductions at half time. In this way the club earn no extra money, the G Men are seated in the directors box and away from the limelight a little and 36,100 have the opportunity to buy a drink or watch the induction. Here everyone wins or gives the smallest amount of ground to achieve the result everybody wants – particularly us fans! 

This is no wheeling out of ancient exhibits, as Jim described it in the People, it’s two guys who were brilliant at their jobs being allowed to return to their stage for that fleeting moment to feel the warmth they once enjoyed and then to slip away never to be seen again. But if they enjoy it more than they thought they can always come visit their extended family again – I’m sure we won’t mind! 

For me Inter Milan would have been a good game but JG has a date that night so the Wolves programme told us but what about Manchester United or Arsenal or the Chelsea games? Manchester United feels right for the 5-1 victory and the roles they played in that game but those of you who saw them play a lot could probably suggest a whole host of opponents when the cameras were not present! Click here to see highlights of the 5-1 and Greavsie’s superlative effort

But really, my question to you is Can Spurs really call it a Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame without Jimmy Greaves and Alan Gilzean included in it? If you tell me they can and I’m wrong it will be my last words on the subject. Vote below.

Is Spurs Hall of Fame discredited without Greaves and Gilzean?

(polls)

Jimmy Greaves at 70: Spurs greatest ever striker?

Jimmy Greaves is 70 today and to celebrate he is having a big bash at the Indigo hall at The O2 Arena. Joining him are some of his fellow pro’s from the era in which he played to include Martin Chivers, Pat Jennings, Martin Peters, Dave Mackay, Cliff Jones and Steve Perryman from Spurs.

So the question to be asked today is “Was Jimmy the best striker we ever had?” I can’t answer that because I never saw him play live during his career and with age being against me for judgement purposes I doubt I could really tell you. What I can tell you is the England, Spurs and West Ham footage I’ve seen him in says he was a truly great player.

YouTube Spurs 5 Man Utd 1 1965 great Greaves goal

The problem that he and many players of his and previous generations lacked was a camera at every game. These days every goal is recorded for posterity but in those days it was down to the memory of the crowd to bring a great goal to life by later tellings of it.

The game was different. Certainly slower. Equipment was of a lower quality than today and the pitches were often poor. Yet Greaves was nimble and passed the ball into the net rather than blasted it. We’ve had some great strikers follow him into the Spurs side but none has come close to putting a dent into his records for goals scored or goals per game. He finished his Tottenham career with 266 goals from 379 games, 220 of them being in League games.

He had formidable partnerships firstly with Bobby Smith and then a telepathic understanding with Gilzean, topped our scoring charts in all bar his last season with the club and on four occasions was top scorer in the league. He also scored 15 hat tricks for the club.

But for all that he had detractors. Some say he was a goal hogger suited by a fair offside rule. Other suggest he played only for himself and not the team.

So are they right are just envious?

Many legendary players in all sorts of sports get accused of playing for themselves. Greavsie’s job was to get goals and he did that by the sackload. If he was able to wander casually about chatting when the ball was not around before turning the switch and scoring is that an unfair tactic? I fancy a Frenchman down the road might think it so!

In these days when words like “Legend” and “Great” slip off the tongue far too easily we should not forget the contribution of players like Greaves. He played in a post war era where the World seemed to change from black and white to colour. The staid fifties of continued rashioning and hardship were replaced by the buzzy sixties. Football presented a real opportunity for the working man to forget about his job and grab 90 minutes of excitement at the match and the Spurs teams in which Jimmy played sought to deliver this.

If I had a “Life on Mars” moment to see a Spurs side play I would be hard pushed to beat Greaves, Gilzean, Mackay and Cliff Jones though the double side would  also be a serious contender. Come to think of it if you went back to 1960 you’d probably not try to get home!

Happy birthday Jimmy may it be a good day and evening at the O2.