Jimmy Greaves will go down in history as the greatest goalscorer of all time in English football.
But for those born too late, to see him play Deh Mein He will be remembered more for his work on the box – more than that.
In the eighties and early nineties, he was one of the top TV football pundits in the country.
And for seven years, with former Liverpool and Scotland striker Ian St. John, he co-presented St. & Grevsey, the No. 1 football show of the day.
The series and the narrative of the strike were so popular and part of English culture that Greavesey’s phrase “It’s a funny old game” became famous throughout the country.
And all this at a time when football was nowhere as popular or widely covered and broadcast as it is now.
But Saint & Grevasi was a must-watch for every football fan and while extremely entertaining and at times hilariously hilarious – thanks mainly to Grevasi’s quick-wit and relaxed style – on the serious side it made a beautiful game. changed the way. The country was shown on TV.
Just as football is now often touted as part of the entertainment industry, Saint and Grevasi showed that programs about football can also be entertaining.
It changed the face of punditry and football programs and paved the way for FOOTBALL AM and other shows you see on TV right now.
For those too young to watch it, Saint & Greaves was the Saturday lunchtime football show that first hit our screens in 1985.
At that time, the only matches regularly shown on TV were the FA Cup and the European Finals and the World Cup.
Football viewers got their fix from highlight shows like Match of the Day and The Big Match.
That’s why fans raved about Saint and Grevasi when it came to our screens as the ITV equivalent of Football Focus.
What started as a 30-minute show was soon expanded to 45 minutes to satisfy the hunger of the audience.
With his sporting experience, many friends in the game, candid opinions and a sense of humor, Greaves was a natural in front of the cameras when talking about the sport he loved.
The chemistry between him and St-John – the Scottish straight man in this double-act – was impeccable.
The pair would review key discussion points of the week, show some of the week’s goals – although not all matches had cameras at the time – and preview matches from that weekend, not only in England but also in Scotland.
When ITV won the rights to live show English top-flight matches in 1988, Saint & Greaves was also hired as a co-commentator for the channel’s new Sunday flagship show, The Match – which produced Wall-to-Wall Live. Coverage paved the way. Eat Now.
Yet the saints and Greeks continued to move from power to power, and their appeal became widespread.
After the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989, Greaves was dispatched to cover the Milan derby, paying his special tribute by stopping the match for a minute’s silence, which was gracefully interrupted by fans from both clubs, in which A quick rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone was given. .
The tears in Jim’s eyes and the emotion in his voice showed that despite his TV stardom, he was still a football man.
On another occasion Saint and Grevasi even went to the states where he awkwardly held a League Cup draw with Donald Trump, who at the time was just a billionaire businessman with a dodgy haircut…
The reason Grevasi was such a success on the small screen was that he was simple and genuine, and people across the country loved him for it.