“Greaves started out as a teenager with Chelsea in an era when players in the old First Division still took public transport to the ground and, in his case, stopped off for a lunch of pie, eels and mash with his teammate Peter Brabrook.”
Some wonderful images of Jimmy Greaves’s life:
Meetings between Tottenham and Chelsea are always emotional, but following the death of a legend, this promises to be a uniquely charged occasion. It’s a chance for fans of both clubs – not to mention the wider world of football – to mourn Jimmy Greaves and to celebrate the life and career of one of the greatest goal scorers. Greaves, who passed away in the early hours this morning, began his playing career at Chelsea, scoring 132 goals at Stamford Bridge between 1957 and 1961. After a short spell in Italy he signed for Tottenham and would go on to score 266 goals in 379 appearances at White Hart Lane between 1961 and 1970. Today’s tributes, quite rightly, can be expected to go far beyond the black armbands worn by the players.
Before today’s sad news this was being billed as a battle between Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku. The meeting of the managers is just as intriguing, though, with Nuno Espírito Santo and Thomas Tuchel at such different stages of their respective projects. It has taken Tuchel less than nine months to transform Chelsea into a well-drilled machine and add a Champions League to the trophy cabinet. Nuno’s time at Tottenham began much like Tuchel’s at Chelsea, a flurry of victories and notably strong performances bringing a manager of the month award. But a bump in the road arrived at Crystal Palace last weekend.
Tottenham mustered a 2-2 draw against Rennes in midweek but are hampered by injuries and recent Covid-19 quarantine-related disruption. Chelsea arrive unbeaten and will expect to win. A positive result today, on such a significant occasion, would do much to endear Nuno to Tottenham fans. Regardless of the result, an on-pitch display of commitment, skill and passion by the players will be an appropriate tribute to Jimmy Greaves.
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