Tottenham Hotspur and England legend Jimmy Greaves has died at the age of 81.
Tributes have poured in for the former Chelsea, AC Milan, Spurs and West Ham United striker, who was regarded as one of the most prolific centre forwards of all time.
Greaves was part of the England 1966 World Cup-winning squad, and is fourth on the Three Lions’ goalscoring charts.
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In a statement released by England, manager Gareth Southgate hailed Greaves as one of the country’s "greatest goal scorers".
“Jimmy Greaves was someone who was admired by all who love football, regardless of club allegiances," he said.
“I was privileged to be able to meet Jimmy’s family last year at Tottenham Hotspur as the club marked his 80th birthday. My thoughts are with them and I know the entire game will mourn his passing.
“Jimmy certainly deserves inclusion in any list of England’s best players, given his status as one of our greatest goal scorers and his part in our 1966 World Cup success.”
Southgate confirmed England will mark their respect for Greaves’ passing with a minute's silence when the Three Lions host Hungary at Wembley Stadium next month.
'A giant of the sport'
Spurs led the tributes with an official statement labelling Greaves as the "finest marksman this country has ever seen".
“Throughout his wonderful playing career, Jimmy’s strike rate was phenomenal. His Spurs return was 266 goals in 379 appearances between 1961 and 1970 – 220 goals in 321 league games, 32 goals in 36 FA Cup ties, five in just eight League Cup ties and nine in 14 European matches.”
Current Spurs forward and England captain Harry Kane also paid tribute on social media, recognising him as "a true legend".
Former Spurs striker Gary Lineker was full of admiration for Greaves, who he labelled "a giant of the sport".
Former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino posted on Instagram: “I am so sorry to hear the news of Jimmy Greaves today, a true football legend. My condolence to all his family and friends around the world.”
Micky Hazard, who played for Tottenham between 1978-1985, and again from 1993-1995, was one of a host of former Spurs players to pay their respects on social media.
He said: “Heaven has gained our hero and what a Spurs team we have up there. Rest in peace my friend. Jimmy, you are simply the greatest.”
In a statement from Chelsea, where Greaves began his professional career, the club were full of praise for "one of their own".
“Chelsea Football Club mourns the loss of a truly remarkable player and one of our own.
“Those who witnessed Greaves effortlessly breeze through a defence with the ball at his feet, before passing it beyond the goalkeeper and into the back of the net, universally acclaim him as the finest goalscorer to play for Chelsea FC.”
Greaves scored an incredible 43 goals for the Blues in his final season at Stamford Bridge, and 41 of those came in the league, which remains a club record.
The England international briefly represented Spurs and Chelsea’s London rivals West Ham United between 1970-71.
It is expected to be an emotional afternoon at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as two of Jimmy’s former clubs Spurs and Chelsea lock horns on Sunday. There will be a minute’s silence ahead of the game.
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