Richard Madeley has paid tribute to his late friend Jimmy Greaves by recalling the thoughtful gift he received from the former footballer.
Jimmy Greaves, the former footballer and TV presenter, died in 2020. Richard Madeley, who had been a close friend of Greaves for years, remembered him with a thoughtful gift.
On today’s Good Morning Britain, one day after Jimmy Greaves’ passing, Richard Madeley revealed a poignant gift he got from him as a kid.
Greaves, who was 81 years old, died at home on Sunday morning. In May 2015, he had a stroke that left him wheelchair-bound and with significantly limited speech.
Richard spoke out about the thoughtful gift he received from the England and Tottenham star on the ITV daytime show, which paid homage to the late football great.
Richard told Susanna Reid in the studio that he had never met him but had requested for his signature when he was eight years old.
‘My father worked for Ford and was involved in a vehicle transaction with Jimmy Greaves, so he brought my signature book to his meeting with Jimmy Greaves.
‘I spent the whole day in a state of excitement, and when Dad returned home with my book, which was totally blank and had no other signatures in it, he said, ‘Rich, I’m sorry, Jimmy didn’t sign the book.’
After receiving the heartfelt present from Greaves, Richard Madeley was ‘waling on air.’ (Image courtesy of ITV)
Richard went on to say that he was ready to cry when his father disclosed that Greaves had instead signed a black and white picture.
‘He hadn’t simply typed Jimmy Greaves,’ the broadcaster said, adding that the sportsman wrote: ‘To my old buddy Richard from his best friend Jimmy Greaves.’
‘I felt like I was walking on air! ‘He beams,’ he says.
‘He had no ego, he was very down to earth, wonderful sense of humour, beautiful guy, and we spent lots of time talking and exchanging jokes,’ Dr Hilary Jones said of Greaves.
Greaves died on Sunday at the age of 81. (Picture: Getty)
Spurs issued a statement confirming Greaves’ death, stating, “We are very sorry to hear of the loss of the great Jimmy Greaves, not just Tottenham’s record goalscorer but the greatest marksman this nation has ever seen.” Jimmy, who was 81 years old, died in the early hours of this morning at home.
Jimmy’s strike rate was incredible during his illustrious playing career. Between 1961 and 1970, he scored 266 goals in 379 appearances for Spurs, including 220 in 321 league games, 32 in 36 FA Cup ties, five in only eight League Cup ties, and nine in 14 European matches.’
On Sunday, a number of celebrities paid homage to Greaves, with Dan Walker of Breakfast and Piers Morgan leading the way.
‘RIP Jimmy Greaves, 81,’ tweeted Piers Morgan, former host of Good Morning Britain. ‘One of England’s best players, a terrific broadcaster, and a lovely guy. ‘It’s bad news.’
More: Good Day, Britain
‘My father enjoyed watching Jimmy Greaves on the field, and I enjoyed watching him on TV,’ Dan wrote.
‘He scored 44 goals for England in just 57 games!!! Incredible footballer who has touched the lives of so many people.’
ITV’s Good Morning Britain broadcasts daily at 6 a.m.
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