NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 431
Submitted by Norman Giller
The one and only Jimmy Greaves would have been 83 today, and his charming widow Irene represented him at Tottenham yesterday to present Harry Kane with a trophy to mark his overtaking of Jimmy's all-time Spurs goal-scoring record.
I am continually being asked how Jimmy would have reacted to losing his record to Harry, and I promise he would have been the first to congratulate his fellow East Londoner.
Aitch had started his goals haul before Jimmy suffered his paralysing stroke, and he told me: 'Keep an eye on this Harry Kane. I think he may be the real deal.'
There was not an ounce of jealousy in Jim, and three years after his stroke he managed to convey his admiration for Harry on a visit to the new Spurs ground and training headquarters in what he considered his 'prison' of a wheelchair.
I must point out the little matter that Jimmy gathered a record 357 First Division goals. Harry has a long way to go to match that record.
Irene Greaves, the power behind the throne for more than 60 years of Jimmy's life, was attending the new Tottenham stadium for the first time and was hoping to see Harry add to his record.
'It was so rewarding to meet Harry and his wife and family,' Irene told me. 'They are a model family and Jimmy's record could not be in better hands. Goodness knows what Jim would have thought of me going on the pitch. All the years we were together, that was something I managed to avoid. But it was worth it to pass on our best wishes to Harry. Such a fine young man.'
Harry did not manage to get on the scoresheet against West Ham – another of Jimmy's old clubs – but combined yet again with Son Heung-min for a match-clinching goal that could justify a 'supersub' nickname for Sonny. The Careering Korean was quick to make it clear that he prefers to start matches on the pitch not the bench.
Enigmatic Tottenham now sit in a prominent fourth place in the Premier League, leaving we supporters wondering which Spurs side will turn up against Chelsea on Sunday.
As our guru Paul H. Smith reports HERE, they were very ordinary in the first-half yesterday but a nicely worked goal by new hero Emerson Royal after neat combination between Hojbjerg and Ben Davies had a settling effect on the team.
My birthday tribute to Jimmy Greaves here: https://youtu.be/jLMk5URM4UQ.
I can hear Jim now, 'Norm, stick to writing …'
Ps Latest whisper on the grapevine is that Joe Lewis has been in talks with an American consortium about a Tottenham takeover. How quickly before the keyboard warriors would turn on any new owners, just as they have on ENIC. There is no satisfying some people.
Week 25 of our ninth year of Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenges:
Which England international now with Tottenham has previously played for Celtic and Southampton, and with which club did he start his career without appearing in their League team?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com with Quiz Week 25 as the subject heading. Deadline midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who participate, taking time off from writing my next book: The G-Men, an intimate close-up of Greavsie and Gilzean.
The rules are the same as in previous seasons. I ask a two-pronged question with three points at stake – two for identifying the player and one for the supplementary question. In the closing weeks of the competition I break the logjam of all-knowing Spurs-history experts with a tie-breaking poser that is based on opinion rather than fact. That’s when I lose the few friends that I have. But, hey, it's fun. Please join in.
This year’s prizes for the champion will be announced later in the season, but most important of all, they will include a framed certificate announcing the winner as 2023 SOQL champion.
Last week … Week 24: Who was man of the match in a famous 10-4 Tottenham victory, later played for Watford and for which team did he score a promotion-clinching goal in 1963?
Answer: Tommy the Harmer Charmer, who scored the goal that took Chelsea to promotion. 'Tom Thumb' would have thrived on today's pitches and with the physical assaults by defenders virtually banned.
See you back here next Monday. COYS!
Top of page | Spurs Odyssey Home Page