Great Britain

Jimmy Greaves 'should have had a knighthood' - star's wife and fans begged for honour

Tottenham record scorer Jimmy Greaves dies at the age of 81

Former England, Tottenham and Chelsea striker Greaves passed away today at home, aged 81. The striker is Spurs’ record goalscorer having found the net 226 times in 379 games for the north Londoners. He was also a member of England’s 1966 World Cup winning side, and scored 44 goals for the Three Lions in just 57 caps. 

The player began his career at Chelsea in 1957 and spent four years with the Blues, netting 41 goals in the 1960/61 First Division ‒ a club record. 

His 37 goals in the 1962/63 season while at Tottenham also remains a club record 59 years on.

Greaves had a short spell at Italian giants A.C. Milan in 1961 and finished his career at West Ham aged 31.

In later life, the footballing legend found television fame alongside former Liverpool star Ian St. John, as the pair presented ‘Saint and Greavsie’ on ITV.

Read more: EU divide: Germany set to be ‘pushed to the edge’ 

Jimmy Greaves

Former England, Tottenham and Chelsea striker Greaves passed away today at home, aged 81 (Image: Getty)

Jimmy Greaves

Greaves belatedly received an MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours list (Image: Getty)

Greaves had been battling illness for the past few years, after suffering a minor stroke in 2012, and a major one five years ago.

In January his wife Irene Barden begged that the icon be knighted after he belatedly received an MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours list.

She told the Mail Online: “He cried when I told him about the MBE ‒ believe it or not he had a small glass of wine.”

Mrs Barden added: “The MBE is a small degree of recognition for him but it’s 20 years too late and not a very good honour. 

Greaves

Greaves was part of England's 1966 World Cup winning side (Image: Getty)

“I think he’s worth more than that ‒ he still holds all these records and he’s done so many things in his life.

“Now he’s 80, he’s had a devastating stroke and they’re finally doing something about it.

“I think they’ve got to give him something to stop people going on about it, but Jimmy really deserves a knighthood and I told him so. 

“He seemed to agree ‒ he said, ‘yes, yes’, but if I mention it again he’ll probably have forgotten all about it.”

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Greaves and Kane

Greaves remains Spurs' record goal scorer (Image: Getty)

The star's legion of fans also hit out at the footballer not receiving a knighthood.

Richard Keys, host of football coverage at beIN Sports wrote: "So sad to hear of the passing of Greavsie. He was funny, irreverent - a genius. He was Messi before Messi was born. Shame on all of you @BorisJohnson that should’ve knighted him while we had him.

"Sleep well Jim. You deserve the rest. I was honoured to know you."

Charlie Fitzherbert wrote on Twitter: "Another 1966 hero gone without a knighthood. National disgrace. RIP Jimmy Greaves MBE. Legend." 

Greaves and Irene

Greaves married his wife Irene in 1958 (Image: Getty)

Timberttony added: "He greatest player to wear the Spurs shirt in my 67 years as a Spurs supporter has sadly passed away. How ironic it’s on the day we play Chelsea the two teams he played for. Should have received a knighthood. Rest in Peace Jimmy Greaves."

Throughout lockdown the football icon was requiring basic assistance from carers four times a day, according to Mrs Bardon.

On his condition, she said in January: “He was so charismatic, so funny.

“Now he’s a shell of the man he was. 

“After his last stroke I didn't think he’d make it and in a way I think it would have been better if he’d gone. 

“This is no life for him, he doesn’t want to be here.

“He says ‘get me something so I can go’, and I tell him ‘you’ll have us both in jail’.

“Sometimes I wish he could just slip away peacefully, I know it’s what he wants.”

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