Football legend and Midlands TV broadcaster dies aged 81

Report by Steve Clamp

Football and broadcasting legend Jimmy Greaves has died at the age of 81.

Greaves suffered a stroke in May 2015 which has left him wheelchair-bound and with severely impaired speech and Tottenham said he had died at home on Sunday morning.

He was one of the greatest English footballers of all time, and still holds the record for the most English top flight goals scored by any player.

ITV Central has been looking back at a career that started with football before becoming a huge TV star in the Midlands.

Picture from June 1966. Credit: PA

Jimmy Greaves was a key figure for England and part of the squad that went onto win the 66 World Cup. But Injury in the group stages saw him lose his place to Geoff Hurst and missed out on the final.

However he was eventually awarded with a world cup winners medal when Fifa rules were changed.

Towards the end of his playing days he would turn to alcohol, but his battle with alcoholism was a successful one and a new career was soon beckoning.

A whole new generation would soon know Greaves as a TV star.

Along with Ian St John, Jimmy Greaves became a household name, his cheeky humour taking him far beyond his football fanbase.

Although a londoner at heart, appearances with ITV Central gave him a special bond with midlanders.

Watch Jimmy Greaves trying to convince ITV Central presenter Bob Warman to invest in a racehorse:

And it wasn't just horse racing that he covered for Central, he got involved with American football, a spot of tennis and even boxed against an up and coming Frank Bruno.

Viewers loved him, and even the biggest stars were put at ease by him.

After a long campaign for his England achievements of 1966 to be recognise, Greaves finally received a World Cup winners’ medal in 2009; five years later he sold it in an auction at Sotheby’s for £44,000.

In later life, Greaves endured health problems, including a minor stroke in 1992 from which he recovered, but it was followed by a serious stroke in May 2015 which saw him unconscious for six days in intensive care and later left in a wheelchair.

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