Jimmy Greaves’ family celebrated his MBE last night with his son Danny saying: “I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like him.”
The highest scorer in the history of English top-flight football with 357 goals was finally rewarded at the age of 80.
And even though he is in a wheelchair after suffering a stroke, his family revealed how much this honour means to him.
“When Dad was told the news he did shed a tear,” said Danny, 57, himself a former professional with Southend and Cambridge United.
“It’s a marvellous achievement for anyone and, as a family, and on behalf of Dad, we are absolutely delighted.
“A big thank you goes to those who have run campaigns to get Dad an MBE and to those who have supported those campaigns for quite some time now.
“We’re all delighted that we’re in a position that, finally, Dad is going to be honoured in a way he probably deserves to be honoured.”
Greaves started his career at Chelsea in 1957 before joining AC Milan in 1961.
He is Tottenham’s record goalscorer with 266 goals and England’s fourth highest goalscorer with 44.
Until 2017, Greaves held the record for the most career goals scored in Europe’s top five leagues – 366 – with Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo the man who finally surpassed him.
Danny said: “It’s amazing that after falling ill and having such a severe stroke five-and-a-half years ago, a stroke that has robbed him of the latter part of his life, he is still winning awards, still being honoured and still loved so much by the public.
“That’s great and it’s a tribute to him that, even today, when people meet him and see him, they still want to be in his company and they still enjoy being in his company.
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“That’s one of the major reasons he deserves an MBE — I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like him.
“He is in remarkable form. Unfortunately, Essex has gone into Tier Four but, up until a couple of weeks ago, we were able to take him out every Friday for lunch.”
Brother Andrew, 54, said: “I’m extremely proud of my father — of what he has achieved as a father and a man. It is a delightful thing for him and for our family, and I’ll be pleased to see him go and get it.”
Meanwhile, Greaves’ former teammate Ron Flowers has been given an MBE for his services to football, writes James Nursey.
The ex-Wolves midfielder made 49 England appearances and was part of Alf Ramsey’s 1966 World Cup winners.
Every surviving member of the triumphant squad has now received awards from the Queen.
Flowers, 86, didn’t feature in the final but was part of the squad.
He recalled: “There is nothing like playing for your country and winning.”
Flowers also made more than 450 appearances for Wolves between 1952 and 1967, winning three First Division titles and an FA Cup.
Flowers was presented with an FA award for his outstanding contribution to the national team last January after 10 goals for his country.