BT Sport’s Greavsie film debuts on Feb 18

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Greavsie, the tale of the rise, fall and re-birth of one of England’s greatest sporting icons, Jimmy Greaves, and the latest in the acclaimed BT Sport Films series, will premiere on BT Sport 2 on February 18th at 10.30pm, with additional broadcasts over the following week including February 22nd at 7.30pm on BT Sport 2.

The story begins in the 1950s with Greaves a target for every major club in London. Greaves opts for Chelsea – 1955 league champions. He makes the breakthrough and becomes a teenage superstar – scoring 124 league goals in 157 games.

Frustrated by Chelsea’s inconsistency and the maximum wage he moves to AC Milan in Italy. After his disappointing spell at Milan – Greaves returns to Tottenham for a club-record fee. He is a major success and scores 21 goals in 22 games before the end of the season. Between 1962 and 1965, Greaves scores 101 league goals in 123 games. In 1965/66 the year before England’s home World Cup.  Greaves, England’s star striker contracts hepatitis. He makes the World Cup squad and starts the first three games, but injury against France puts him out of the quarter-final against Argentina. Sir Geoff Hurst takes his place and the rest is history.

Lost without football, Greaves spends much of the 1970s battling alcoholism, but having got himself sober, he gets a newspaper column with The Sun and writes a book with friend Norman Giller called ‘This One’s on Me’. His searingly honest documentary ‘Just For Today’, based on ‘This One’s On Me’ propels him back into the public spotlight with a wave of support. With the public reacquainted with Jimmy after ‘Just For Today’, TV Executives are in touch.

After spells on ATV in the Midlands and on the panel for the 1982 World Cup, in 1985 ITV executives decide that Greaves needs his own vehicle. They pair him with former Liverpool footballer Ian St John – Saint and Greavsie is born, and it is a colossal hit, awards are won, Greavsie is a major public figure again, as evidenced by his Spitting Image puppet. Jimmy is a star to a completely new generation…

Tragically in 2015 Greaves suffers a severe stroke. He survives but wheelchair bound and with speech difficulties.

The film features rarely seen archive and interviews with Harry Redknapp, Sir Geoff Hurst, Ian St John, Denis Law, George Cohen, Cliff Jones, Pat Jennings, Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle, Barry Davies, John Sillett, Alan Mullery, Ron Harris, Steve Perryman, Jimmy Tarbuck, Rio Ferdinand, several members of Jimmy’s family and more.

Greavsie is the latest in the award-winning BT Sport Films series which recently includes:

  • Too Good to Go Down: rarely-told story of how relegation in the mid-1970s enabled the modern-day Manchester United to emerge
  • Two Tribes: focuses on the city of Liverpool during the 1980s and how, against a backdrop of social unrest, the city’s two football teams rose to bring a fresh hope and a new identity to Merseyside.

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