Greatest Tottenham Strikers
At Tottenham right now, we are blessed with one of the greatest strikers in World Football. In time, Harry Kane may develop to become Spurs’ leading scorer but even at this relatively early stage of his career, he deserves his place on a list such as this.
Could he be considered as the greatest ever? Read on to see our thoughts before making your own decisions.
Top of the tree in every respect is the legend that is Jimmy Greaves. Harry Kane may have closed out the 2018/19 season with 164 goals for the club but he still has some way to go before he catches the imperious Greavsie.
Those among us who only recall Jimmy as the funny man from the Saint and Greavsie show have truly missed out. He was the archetypal goal poacher but it appears that there were some stunning efforts mixed in too – take a look around YouTube and search for a mazy dribble and finish against Manchester United.
As for the stats, Bill Nicholson brought Greaves back to English football from AC Milan in 1961 for a fraction under £100,000. Nine years later, the front man had scored 266 goals in 379 appearances for Spurs and for much of the 39 years that have followed, it looked as though that mark would never be breached.
Not everyone was happy when Greavsie was offloaded to West Ham in 1970 but looking back, the club must have made the right decision. With problems increasing away from the pitch, Jimmy scored just 13 goals in 38 league games for the Hammers.
Harry Kane remains more than a hundred goals behind Jimmy Greaves in the all-time leading scorers list so there is no guarantee that he will overtake this club legend. In fact, Kane is still short of second and third place.
Unlike Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Smith was part of Tottenham’s legendary double winning side but the two would later pair up and become a fearsome strikeforce. Smith, like Greaves, had started his professional career with Chelsea and Spurs would sign him from the Stamford Bridge club in 1955.
He was a prolific goal scorer from the start and would go on to form a pairing with Les Allen that spearheaded that double success in 1960/61. Along with that league and cup double, Bobby Smith would stay at the club for the 1962 FA Cup and the 1963 European Cup Winners Cup triumphs.
By the time he was shipped out to Brighton in 1964, the popular striker had notched 208 goals in all competitions. His strike ratio of 0.66 is just a fraction behind Jimmy Greaves and his second place status in the all-time scoring list is assured for another season at least.
Harry Kane should overtake Martin Chivers’ haul of 174 goals during the 2019/20 campaign but for now, Big Chiv remains third on the list. At a strike ratio of 0.47, his rate is actually the lowest of any striker in the top four but he deserves his place on our list for many reasons.
Chivers could be an abrasive character but he was a popular figure on the terraces and he played a big part in our cup successes of the early 70s – most notably scoring both goals in the 2-0 League Cup final win over Aston Villa in 1971.
Signed from Southampton in 1968, Martin would spend the next eight years at White Hart Lane. A competitive and physical striker, he probably deserved more than the 24 caps granted by the full England side. Nevertheless, he was largely embraced by the White Hart Lane faithful and by the time he joined Swiss side Servette in 1976, Chivers’ 174 goals had come in 367 matches.
So now we come to Harry Kane and we ask the obvious question as to where he stands on Tottenham’s all-time list. In terms of pure stats, the answer to that question, as of the summer of 2019, is fourth – behind Chivers, Smith and Greaves.
If he continues at his current ratio, Harry should overtake Martin Chivers next season, Bobby Smith the season after that and then potentially, it would be four years before he matches and then goes past Jimmy Greaves. Will he even be at the club for that long?
All of these are questions for the future but just how do we view Kane right now? He’s a multiple Golden Boot winner and his ratio of 0.66 matches Smith but not Greaves. Is he the greatest or do we need to wait a few more years to answer that question?
The previous names on this list are the top four leading scorers in the history of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. That isn’t a complete coincidence but we’re talking about the greatest strikers to have graced the club and our final candidate was with us for just two brief spells.
On very rare occasions, Spurs have managed to pull off a shock coup in the transfer markets. It happened in 1978 when Ossie and Ricky came to White Hart Lane after the 1978 World Cup and it was repeated some 16 years later.
Few could have foreseen the sight of Jurgen Klinsmann shaking hands with Alan Sugar on our chairman’s yacht in the summer of 1994. It would lead to a season of spectacular goals, comedy celebrations and a great strike pairing with Teddy Sheringham.
At the end of that 1994/95 campaign, Jurgen the German had recorded 29 goals in 50 matches but before the season came to a close, we were aware that he was eyeing up a return to Germany with Bayern Munich. Later on, Klinsmann would close out his career back at Spurs with nine important goals at the end of a 1997/98 campaign where relegation was a distinct possibility.
His contribution to survival was vital and he therefore signed off with a total of 38 goals for THFC. That puts Jurgen some way behind John Pratt but what memories we have of the time that one of the world’s greatest strikers made the switch to White Hart Lane.