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Jimmy Greaves ‘shed a tear’ over MBE; family ‘delighted’ with honour

Greaves scored 44 times across 57 appearances for his country, but an injury in the final group game of the 1966 finals led to him losing his place in the team to Sir Geoff Hurst, who went on to score a hat-trick in the final victory over West Germany while Greaves looked on from the sidelines.

Until 2017 Greaves held the record for the most career goals scored in Europe’s top five leagues – 366 – with Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo the man who finally surpassed him.

Greaves unfortunately suffered a stroke in May 2015 which has left him wheelchair-bound and with severely impaired speech.

Following the news of Greaves being honoured, his son Danny told the Mirror: “When Dad was told the news he did shed a tear.

( Getty Images )

“It’s a marvellous achievement for anyone and, as a family, and on behalf of Dad, we are absolutely delighted.

“A big thank you goes to those who have run campaigns to get Dad an MBE and to those who have supported those campaigns for quite some time now.

“We’re all delighted that we’re in a position that, finally, Dad is going to be honoured in a way he probably deserves to be honoured.”

Greaves joined AC Milan just before the abolition of the maximum wage in England in 1961, but despite continuing to score goals at an impressive rate he did not settle in Italy and returned to England with Tottenham before the year was out.

He became one of Spurs’ all-time greats and holds the club scoring record with 268 goals, winning the FA Cup in 1962 and 1967 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963, the same year the club finished second in the old First Division.

Greaves moved to West Ham as part of an exchange deal with the late Martin Peters in 1970, but he began to struggle with alcoholism.

But Greaves beat his addiction and went on to have a career as a pundit and co-presented the Saint & Greavsie show alongside fellow former pro Ian St John between 1985 and 1992.

( Getty Images )

Danny also posted a message on Facebook thanking his father’s team-mates and colleagues, and the public, for the “tremendous support, love and kindness that you have shown my Dad over many, many years”.

“I think, if you have told my Dad, when he was a young boy, kicking a ball around and just doing what he loved to do, that he would be honoured by the Queen, he probably would have smiled and said something like, ‘Yeah, alright’.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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