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Letter to Editor: Jimmy Greaves in Harlow: “A kind and caring man”

Football / Tue 21st Sep 2021 at 06:41am

Jimmy Greaves at the Harlow Sportscentre in 1971.

WE were all very saddened to hear of the death of football legend Jimmy Greaves.

Some will remember him playing a number of celebrity football matches at the Harlow Sportscentre in the early seventies.

Others may remember the Greaves and Penn sports shop next to the Sandwich Bar in the town centre.

A reader from Hampshire, Paul Hickey wrote to us, to pay this tribute.

Dear Editor,

A relative told me this anecdote about Jimmy Greaves, which shows what a very ‘kind & caring’ man he was, as well as a football legend!

In about 1971, my relative was a 10 year old boy who lived in Harlow. At that time, Jimmy Greaves was co-owner of a sports shop in Harlow, called ‘Greaves & Penn.’

In that year, word got out to this 10 year old relative of mine, that Jimmy Greaves was going to turn up at the shop, on a particular day, in the morning.

My relative decided that he ‘had’ to try and get Jimmy Greaves’ autograph, when he turned up at the shop, on that day.

They turned up very early, and wait outside the shop, for Jimmy Greaves to turn up.

After about an hour, a car pulled up outside the shop, and out stepped Jimmy Greaves!

As Jimmy Greaves approached the front of the shop, this 10 year old, scruffily-dressed boy (accompanied by his equally, scruffily-dressed friend), said: “Excuse me, Mr. Greaves. Could we please have your autograph?”

Jimmy Greaves said, “Of course!” He then took the time to sign our tatty bits of paper. We then thanked him, and he then went into his shop.”

He was very kind, even though, as we found out later, that he was going through a lot of problems.

God bless you, Jimmy Greaves!

Paul Hickey, Hampshire.

Photo courtesy of Brian Gleeson

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