Saturday 26 April 2014

Playing the percentage game

Nick Lowe once told me that if you've got enough lines in the water then sooner or later you're going to get a bite. Landing Johnny Cash in your keep net (covering Without Love and The Best in Me) and having one of your songs placed in a blockbuster movie (What's so Funny 'bout Peace Love and Understanding in The Bodyguard) is all about playing the percentage game.

Jimmy Greaves was just the same.

'I used to make 500 runs a season in to the 18 yard box. And I connected with about 100 balls coming in. Half of those would be on target and half of those would end up in the back of the net. And 25 goals a season was good enough for me.'

Greaves' stats speak for themselves. A career that started in 1957 and went through 'till 1971, he made 602 appearnaces for Chelsea, AC Milan, Spurs and West Ham. He scored 422 goals. And for England he netted 44 times from his 57 caps.


  1. And who knows what would have happened if he hadn't been injured against France in the 1966 World Cup group game? I've just finished reading Brian Glanville's The Story of the World Cup, where the author claims that Sir Alf Ramsey never quite trusted Greaves, and when the injury came he was "gently discarded"

  2. One of the true greats of football. Saw him play just once, for West Ham in a friendly against Bristol City but I'm gad I did get to see him. Maybe we woudn't have own the World Cup if he'd have played but he was a far greater player than Geoff Hurst.

  3. Sorry 'bout the regular typos!

  4. Unable to resist the chance for a tenuous name-drop.... The Greaves family have connections to this little neck of the woods. A couple of weeks ago Mr SDS did a spot of work for them, got a cuppa off Jimmy's missis no less... but, having not an iota of interest in football I'm afraid he was not perhaps as captivated by the large trunk of personal football memorabilia he saw as others here may have been!

    1. Nice one! Tell him to blag me an autograph next time he's round there. J x

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