Greavsie, the latest in the acclaimed BT Sport Films series, will premiere on BT Sport 2 on Wednesday 18 February at 10.30pm, with additional broadcasts over the following week including Saturday 22 February at 7.30pm on BT Sport 2.
The documentary tells the tale of the rise, fall and re-birth of one of England’s greatest strikers with rarely seen archive footage and interviews with some of the game’s biggest names.
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 have helped contribute.
The story begins in the 1950s with Jimmy a target for every major club in London and opts for Chelsea, the 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, Jimmy moves to AC Milan, but a disappointing spell in Italy sees Greaves head to Tottenham for a club-record fee.
The forward is a major success, scoring 21 goals in 22 games before the end of the season and between 1962 and 1965, Greaves scores 101 league goals in 123 games.
In 1965/66, the year before England’s home World Cup, the country’s star striker contracts hepatitis. Jimmy 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, Jimmy spends much of the 1970s battling alcoholism, but once sober he gets a newspaper column with The Sun and writes a book with friend Norman Giller, called ‘This One’s on Me’.
His remarkably-honest documentary ‘Just For Today’, based on ‘This One’s On Me’ propels him back into the 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 decide that Jimmy needs his own vehicle. Saint and Greavsie is born when they pair him with former Liverpool stalwart St John. The show is a colossal hit and Jimmy is a major public figure again, as evidenced by his Spitting Images Puppet.
Tragically in 2015 Jimmy suffers a severe stroke. He survives but is wheelchair bound and has speech difficulties.
For more information about other documentaries in the acclaimed series, visit btsport.com/films.