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Booze destroyed heroes but teetotal Greavsie must be celebrated as he turns 80

first_imgTHERE is no doubt Jimmy Greaves should be honoured after reaching his 80th birthday on Thursday.But regardless his name is already safe in the memory of anyone who saw him play in the 14 years of his football career or on film over the next 40.3 Jimmy Greaves was up there with George Best in the pantheon of top-class strikers3 Chelsea, spurs and West Ham legend Jimmy Greaves retired aged 31 – after an amazing goalscoring recordCredit: AFP – Getty3 Superstars of the past and present – Jimmy Greaves with current (but injured) Spurs striker and England skipper Harry KaneCredit: Getty – ContributorHe was fabulous. With 357 goals in the top flight and 44 more for England, the only sweeter goalscorer in the First Division was arguably George Best but in nothing like the quantity.I’m not old enough to have seen Greaves play for Chelsea, Spurs or even West Ham.But friends and relations who did take a deep breath and try to find words to describe his deadly instincts in front of goal.So I watched Tuesday night’s BT Sport film as it fleetingly captured the ravishing ballet of Greaves on the move through thickets of defenders with the seemingly inevitable result.It came as a shock to everyone he decided to retire at the incredibly young age of 31.And it is tragically coincidental. Best was 29 when he walked out of English football, both on a lethal path towards alcoholism.He moved like a skimming gull across pitches that today’s footballers would consider an insult to their ball controlThe drinking culture in football claimed other victims of which the most horrible was the unravelling of Paul Gascoigne whom England dispensed with, yes, at 31.With all the might at his command, Greaves threw off the curse of booze and is proud that for more than 40 years he hasn’t touched a drop.It killed Best and destroyed Gazza’s already shaky equilibrium.His successful resistance owes a lot to his wife, Irene, who went through nightmare times but succumbed for only three months of their 60-year love affair when she divorced him but returned, eventually to remarry five years ago.It’s clear, too, just how much his children love him.Greaves, on a black and white screen, moved like a skimming gull across pitches that today’s footballers would consider an insult to their ball control.MAKE YOUR DEBUT Bet £5 get £20 in free bets for new customers at LadbrokesNot that anyone could stop Greaves in full cry.As an 18-year-old, the slight youth scored five in Chelsea’s 6-1 drubbing of Division One champions Wolves in August 1958.He continued scoring in threes, fours and even a five or two, an East London lad destined to break the world record of goals scored and probably jokes made, too.The odd thing is Greaves spent his football life being rewarded by goals all over the place but outside gluey goalmouths not by much else.His Spurs record of 220 could be overtaken by Harry Kane, 26, already owner of an MBE.Indeed, he missed out by a year on Spurs’ Double in 1961, couldn’t get back into England’s World Cup winning team and has been ignored by the types who decide on where the Queen’s gongs go.most read in footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticBut as I say, football people would never judge the quality of a player by whether he scores a medal at Buckingham Palace.Nor for that matter how funny he was (and he was very funny) on Saint and Greavsie.Stunned by a serious stroke, he is too ill to respond publicly to well-wishers. But I suspect he would say to each one of them ‘Thanks, mate. Glad to be of service.’The Chase viewers seeing double with Jimmy Greaves lookalike contestantlast_img read more

Brightest All-Star: Kobe

first_imgIn 2002, Bryant was mercilessly booed by fans in his hometown of Philadelphia. They jeered him every time he touched the ball, then hissed when he was announced as the game’s MVP. But on this night, the city that loves its showmen almost more than it loves neon lights or $3.99 buffets embraced Bryant as its favorite son. “It’s humbling. As a player you want to feel appreciated for what we do and to hear the chants, it makes you feel good,” Bryant said. “It’s very, very humbling. And it makes you feel very good.” Generally, the hometown All-Star has a head start on winning the game’s MVP award. Las Vegas is the only non-NBA city ever to host an All-Star game. That left Phoenix’s Shawn Marion, a UNLV product, and Bryant, because Southern Nevada is Lakers country, as the two front-runners for the MVP award. Marion finished with 18points, and teammate Amare Stoudemire had 29, but Bryant was a clear-cut winner because of his playmaking (six assists) and aggressiveness in attacking the rim. Sunday evening, Kobe Bryant won over the glitziest – and definitely the strangest – crowd ever to watch an NBA All-Star Game, as he had 31points, six assists and sixsteals to earn MVP honors in the West’s 153-132 victory over the East at the Thomas & Mack Center. By the end of the game, a West runaway from start to finish, the crowd began chanting Bryant’s name and calling for him to be named MVP. It was a far different scene than the last time Bryant took home the MVP trophy from an All-Star game. LAS VEGAS – At home, with the adoring Staples Center crowd, the “MVP” chants have pretty much become a nightly ritual for Kobe Bryant. Then he heard the same cheers in Boston, a place that has always saved a special sort of venom for the Lakers. center_img At times, he seemed to be oneof the few players who really cared about winning. “You could tell early on that he was being aggressive,” Miami’s Dwyane Wade said. “You can always tell what guys have that mentality that night to go for the MVP by how aggressive they are with shooting the ball.” Bryant took 24 shots, the most of any player. Stoudemire (22) and LeBron James (20) were the only players to take nearly as many. With the exception of James (28 points) and Orlando’s Dwight Howard (20 points, 12rebounds), most of the East seemed lethargic after a weekend in Vegas. Even Bryant acknowledged being a bit tired from all the excitement this weekend. “Before tonight’s game I was as tired as they were,” Bryant said. “But we had lost two times in a row to the East, so we wanted to come out and win this game.” For his part, Miami’s Shaquille O’Neal did most of his entertaining in the in-game video presentations, singing a not-too-bad “Viva Las Vegas” and passionately shouting a line from “Braveheart” as part of a trivia contest. O’Neal played just 17 minutes, even volunteering some of his playing time to Dwight Howard, but still had 10 points and six rebounds. But the star of this evening was his former running mate in Los Angeles. “I just feel blessed and fortunate to be able to come out tonight and put on a really good show,” Bryant said. No place appreciates that more than Vegas. ramona.shelburne@ dailynews.com (818) 713-3617 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

X FACTOR STARS COMING TO BALLYSHANNON FOR TALENT CONTEST

first_imgTwo of the biggest names to feature in X-Factor are heading to Ballyshannon to join a varied line up of young talent from the school in a major Christmas event “The CC Factor”.Coláiste Cholmcille is hosting a star studded talent contest to find the next big star to share the stage with X Factor runners up Nicky Mc Donald and Jordan O’Keefe.X Factor star Nicky McDonald is coming to Donegal.The event is run by the young entrepreneurs of TY 2014/ who have also opted to make donations to both the local R.N.L.I in Bundoran and Rory Gallagher’s “Wish to Walk” charity. Rory is a 2 year old little Boy from Cliffoney who has cerebral palsy. Rory’s parents Shauna & Gerard are trying to raise the funds to get Rory to Missouri in the USA for a life changing operation called SDR which will enable Rory to walk.The RNLI provide, on call 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, and a seasonal lifeguard service.With their lifeboats, lifeguards, safety advice and flood rescue, they are committed to saving lives.Both are very worthy charities and have been selected by the Transition Year students.Principal Jimmy Keogh stated that from first year right through to leaving Certificate there is an amazing level of talent in the school and it is a fantastic occasion to be able to showcase the wealth of talent in our school. “Due to the unprecedented variety and level of talent this year its important that we give students a showcase for their talents so they can be appreciated by the community and their peers”.Students and staff are very excited at the prospect of seeing the X-Factor stars perform and also at seeing who has the hidden talent among the student community.The ‘Enterprize Company’ will be bringing these top class acts to Ballyshannon on the 5th of December for a one night only Christmas concert and a matinee will also take place during the day.The wide range of talent in the line -up includes “Rouge” which is a singing group from the leaving certificate students 2014 , “Siamsa” a third year Irish Dance group and “All Directions” a spin-off of “One Direction” performed by TY’s. The first year choir which has almost fifty members will also compete on the night.The students will experience a preview day show on the same day of the gig, tickets for this show are €5. The evening tickets are 10 euro for adults and €7 for students. Everyone is looking forward too the festive day of fun and there is a great buzz around the school. A limited number of VIP tickets are also on sale. These will allow the purchaser to meet the stars of the show Nicky Mc Donald and Jordan O’ Keefe personally and have their photos taken with the stars in an exclusive backstage “VIP Only” area.VIP tickets cost €8 for the matinee show and €12 for the evening show.Early booking is advised as this is a one night only event.X FACTOR STARS COMING TO BALLYSHANNON FOR TALENT CONTEST was last modified: November 27th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Ballyshannondonegalx factorlast_img read more