robert greaves

England legend Jimmy Greaves dead aged 81 – months after death of former co-star Ian St John

Very sad news

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Tottenham and England legend Jimmy Greaves is dead at the age of 81, after battling dementia for some years.

Spurs this morning posted a tribute, saying: “We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the great Jimmy Greaves.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to Jimmy’s family and friends at this sad time.

“Rest in peace, Jimmy.”

This follows the sad death of his friend and former television co-host, Ian St John, who passed away at the age of 82 in March.

The pair became famous for their much-loved football show Saint and Greavsie in the 1980s.

Jimmy Greaves’ stroke

Jimmy suffered a stroke in 2015 which left him in intensive care.

The severity of the stroke left him in a wheelchair.

He was being cared for by a team of carers round the clock.

His former team Tottenham Hotspur helped pay for his medical bills and care.

In 2020 he was in hospital for several days.

How did Ian St John die?

The former Scottish striker and Liverpool star passed away surrounded by his family.

His family released the following statement: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that after a long illness we have lost a husband, father and grandfather.

“He passed away peacefully with his family at his bedside.

“We would like to thank all the staff at Arrowe Park Hospital for their hard work and dedication during these very difficult times.

‘The family would be grateful for privacy at this extremely sad time.”

saint and greavsie
Do you remember Saint and Greavsie? (Credit: ITV/TV Museum)

When was Saint and Greavsie on ITV?

Saint and Greavsie was a popular football commentary show on ITV.

It was hosted by Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves from 1985-1992.

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They would regularly attracted upwards of five million viewers per episode.

Each episode was typically 30 minutes long and was usually coordinated to air after Saturday top-league football matches.

They’d previously co-hosted a segment called On The Ball in World of Sport.

Their bit did so well that it led to Saint and Greavsie being created.

Why did it end?

Saint and Greavsie didn’t end for lack of popularity. But rather it was cancelled because in 1992 ITV lost its rights to air top-tier football matches to rival Sky Sports.

Despite the show never being picked up by Sky Sports or other competitors, the pair continued to work together.

They hosted the shortly lived Question in Sport in 1995 on ITV, but it failed to be a hit.

For years they remained formally employed by ITV and would co-host occasional Champions League episodes.

They also worked as sports pundits for the network.

In 2004 they reunited on an episode of Fantasy Football League where they were widely lauded for their impact on both sports comedy and punditry.

ian st john dead
Ian St John has died (Credit: Shutterstock)

How did Saint and Greavsie meet?

Both Ian and Jimmy were hugely successful football players in the 1960s, but not for the same clubs.

Their paths crossed, but they didn’t become friends until they started co-hosting On The Ball.

They became firm buddies once Saint and Greavsie started.

But once it ended in 1992 they said their schedules and locations (Greaves lived in Essex, while Ian settled in Wirral) made it rare for them to meet outside of work commitments.

What did Jimmy Greaves say about Ian St John’s death?

A statement was released on behalf of Jimmy Greaves following the news of Ian’s passing.

It read: “I loved my time with the Saint making Saint & Greavsie. After my illness Ian phoned several times to see how I was. And now he’s gone. He was a lot of fun to be with and a great footballer.

“He will be sadly missed. I will never forget his laughter for all the years we worked together.”

jimmy greaves
Jimmy pictured in 2015 (Credit: SplashNews)

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