James Peter Greaves (born 20 February 1940) is a former England international footballer who played as a forward. He is England's fourth highest international goalscorer (44 goals), Tottenham Hotspur's highest ever goalscorer (266 goals), the highest goalscorer in the history of English top-flight football (357 goals), and has also scored more hat-tricks (six) for England than anyone else. He finished as the First Division's top scorer in six seasons. He is a member of the English Football Hall of Fame.
Greaves began his professional career at Chelsea in 1957, and played in the following year's FA Youth Cup final. He scored 124 First Division goals in just four seasons before being sold on to Italian club A.C. Milan for £80,000 in April 1961. His stay in Italy was not a happy one and he returned to England with Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £99,999 in December 1961. Whilst with Spurs he won the FA Cup in 1961–62 and 1966–67, the Charity Shield in 1962 and 1967, and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1962–63; he never won a league title but did help Spurs to a second-place finish in 1962–63. He moved to West Ham United in a player-exchange in March 1970 and retired the following year. After a four-year absence he returned to football at the non-league level, despite suffering from alcoholism. In a five-year spell he played for Brentwood, Chelmsford City, Barnet, and Woodford Town.
Greaves scored 13 goals in 12 England under-23 internationals and scored 44 goals in 57 full England internationals between 1959 and 1967. He played in the 1962 and 1966 FIFA World Cup, but was injured in the group stage of the 1966 World Cup and lost his first team place to Geoff Hurst, who kept Greaves out of the first team in the final. England won the World Cup, but Greaves was not given his medal until a change of FIFA rules in 2009.
After retiring as a player Greaves went on to enjoy a career in broadcasting, most notably working alongside Ian St. John on Saint and Greavsie from 1985 to 1992. During this period, he also made regular appearances on TV-am. He worked on a number of other sport shows on ITV during this period, including Sporting Triangles.Close