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Football and the First World War

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See reviews of Rob Cavallini's The Wanderers FC, and Around The World In 95 Games.

Jimmy Greaves

One of the most prolific goalscorers in the history of English football, Jimmy Greaves was one of the most effective and popular strikers of his era.

Born in East Ham in 1940. At school, Greaves found football provided the perfect escape. He was very talented at a very early age and it led to him being spotted by a London club on the other side of the city, Chelsea.

He made his debut for Chelsea in 1957 scoring in his first match. Having scored 124 League goals in only four seasons at Chelsea, Greaves moved to Milan at the start of the 1961/62 season, and though he never settled in Italy, he still managed nine goals in ten games.

Having made his debut against Peru in Lima in May 1959 he scored 44 goals in 56 internationals, twice scoring four times in a match and also registering four hat-tricks. 

After just a few months abroad, Greaves came back to England when Tottenham manager Bill Nicholson paid a British record fee of 99,999 to take Jimmy Greaves to White Hart Lane in December 1961. He managed 21 goals in 22 League matches during what remained of that season.  The following he scored 37 goals in 41 matches  - a club record which stands to this day.  He scored two goals in the European Cup Winner's Cup Final in 1963 and won a FA Cup winners medal against his old club Chelsea in 1967.  By 1965 however hepatitis and increasing dependence on alcohol affected his career.  In March 1970, Greaves moved to West Ham as part of the deal which saw Martin Peters move in the opposite direction.  He retired in 1971.

His good humour and ebullient personality enabled him to embark on a new career as a television sports commentator during the 1980s.  A witty and shrewd student of the game over the past forty years  he has written a number of books. Another Totthenham striker, Clive Allen, summed him Greaves' footballing ability rather well: 'He was always very calm, very collected and, where scoring goals was concerned, he was a Picasso.'

See Jimmy at his best: