New Year Honours list: Spurs and England great Jimmy Greaves finally honoured with MBE

Greaves, who turned 80 in February, was joined by former midfielder Ron Flowers in becoming the last surviving members of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad to be honoured.

Greaves scored 44 times across 57 appearances for his country, but an injury in the final group game of the 1966 finals led to him losing his place in the team to Sir Geoff Hurst, who went on to score a hat-trick in the final victory over West Germany while Greaves looked on from the sidelines.

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.

He joined AC Milan just before the abolition of the maximum wage in England in 1961, but despite continuing to score goals at an impressive rate he did not settle in Italy and returned to England with Tottenham Hotspur before the year was out.

He became one of Spurs’ all-time greats and holds the club scoring record with 268 goals, winning the FA Cup in 1962 and 1967 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963, the same year the club finished second in the old First Division.

He moved to West Ham as part of an exchange deal with the late Martin Peters in 1970, but he began to struggle with alcoholism.

Greaves beat his addiction and went on to have a career as a pundit and co-presented the Saint & Greavsie show alongside fellow former pro Ian St John between 1985 and 1992.

Greaves was one of the last 1966 World Cup squad members to be honoured


Greaves suffered a stroke in May 2015 which has left him wheelchair-bound and with severely impaired speech.

Flowers, 86, was a non-playing member of the 1966 squad. He won 49 caps for his country and spent the bulk of his professional career with Wolves.


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