Jimmy Greaves at West Ham

Jimmy Greaves Quote

Perhaps like most people, I associate Jimmy Greaves with his goalscoring exploits at Tottenham in the 1960s, but in March 1970 he moved, reluctantly, to West Ham in a deal which also saw Martin Peters join Spurs.

When I was selling Retrotext items at the Essex Retro Football Show in September, the table was visited by a couple of Hammers fans who immediately bought all my West Ham stuff - god bless them! One of them, Vic, told me the tale of when West Ham were in Blackpool for an FA Cup tie in January 1971.

Believing that a frozen pitch would prevent the match from going ahead, Greaves and other members of the squad went to a nightclub the evening before and were a little worse for wear when the game was actually given the green light, resulting in a heavy 4-0 defeat to the seaside club in what was manager Bob Stokoe's first game in charge. The players involved were subsequently fined and dropped by West Ham boss Ron Greenwood..

Having lost his enthusiasm for the game and increasingly drinking more heavily, Greaves final game for the Hammers was in May 1971 but, despite his problems, he still scored 13 goals in 40 games.

Another interesting snippet about Vic is that he is the only non-Evertonian I have known who not only had heard about the 1968 TV docu-drama 'The Golden Vision' but had actually watched it! For those who don't know, The Golden Vision was the name given to Everton forward Alex Young and the programme is shot in a documentary style showing the trials and tribulations of Blues fans. It was directed by Ken Loach who the following year brought out the acclaimed film 'Kes', perhaps most famous for the scene where the teacher (played by Brian Glover) pretends he is Bobby Charlton!

If you are in the area on December 10th, there is another Essex Retro Football Show taking place. I'm not sure if Retrotext will be there as there may be events more locally for me to attend, but it's well worth a visit.  

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