Everyone knows the important extract of the transcript taken from the 1966 World Cup final - the immortal words of Kenneth Wolstenholme.


And here comes Hurst! He's got... Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over... It is now, it's four!


And yet the finest moment in English football history could have belonged to someone else if not for 14 stitches in his shin.

Jimmy Greaves

Jimmy Greaves started England's World Cup campaign as their first-choice striker, before a leg injury suffered in a group stage game against France ruled him out for most of the tournament. He was declared fit to play the final, but Alf Ramsey wanted to stick with a winning team and chose to start Geoff Hurst. The rest was illustrious, recounted, decorated history.


And while his country celebrated the greatest triumph they'd ever see, the wait began for Greaves, a wait that would last 43 long years. It was only in 2009 that he received his medal for winning the World Cup, yet he was so much more than the 12th man, the nearly-man.

Norman Hunter,Jimmy Greaves

Earlier in February, Sportsmail announced they were starting a petition for Jimmy Greaves to receive a British honour ahead of his 80th birthday this month. BT Sport are releasing a documentary in his honour on 18 February, and it's about time he received the attention befitting of the record goalscorer of the English top flight.


He remains one of the most underrated players of all time, he might even be the most; don't come around here talking of Michael Carrick, James Milner or Claude Makelele.


The lack of publicity Greaves gets in the modern day from a footballing standpoint is ludicrous when almost every measurement of how good a player is now boils down to stats - strikers are judged on numbers the most.


For the easiest argument on that front, here's his complete goal record.

ClubSeasonAppsGoalsGPG
Chelsea1957/5837220.59
Chelsea1958/5947370.79
Chelsea1959/6042300.71
Chelsea1960/6143431.00
Milan1961/621490.64
Tottenham1961/6231300.97
Tottenham1962/6349440.90
Tottenham1963/6445360.80
Tottenham1964/6545350.78
Tottenham1965/6631160.52
Tottenham1966/6747310.66
Tottenham1967/6848290.60
Tottenham1968/6952360.69
Tottenham1969/7033110.33
West Ham1969/70640.67
West Ham1970/713490.26
England1959-196757440.77
TOTAL​N/​A6024220.70


There were only two seasons in Greaves' whole career where he wasn't scoring more than one goal every two games - the last of his professional career. In nine of his 14 seasons at the top, he scored more than two in three. From a 17-year-old at ​Chelsea right until he was entering his 30s, he guaranteed you goals at a rate consistently unheard of in English football post-WWII - a bloody good lot of goals.


With 44 in 57, Greaves is fourth in England's list of record scorers, and no one who played for the Three Lions at the same time as him or after has a better goals to game ratio. Not one person. The closest is ​Harry Kane on 0.71, who's also chasing his goal record at Tottenham - the 26-year-old has 181 so far, still 85 shy of Greaves' landmark.

But his crowning glory is that he's the highest goalscorer in the history of the English top flight with 357 goals, bagging 100 by the time he was 20, scoring on every major debut he had, leading the scoring charts in his first six seasons at ​Tottenham, the best player these shores saw in the 1960s that wasn't a Busby Babe.


In an era where the only route into European competition was by winning the league or cup and receiving qualification as a bonus, Greaves still managed to claim five major honours, including that World Cup as well as playing a major part of the Tottenham side who won the 1963 Cup Winners' Cup - the first British club to win on the continent. In his first two finals for Spurs, he scored inside three minutes in eventual victories; the early bird with predatory instincts.

Ron Henry,Cliff Jones,Dave Mackay,Jimmy Greaves

Tottenham are a club steeped in history and pride themselves on it, and there are few men who contributed to their longstanding reputation in England and Europe than Greaves. Only Glenn Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne can rival him in saying he was the best Spurs player to have never won the title with them.


In a brief spell in Italy, he played 12 Serie A games for ​Milan in the year they won the Scudetto. But the major blip on his CV is that for all of his goals, for all of the six golden boots he would have won if they existed back then, Greaves never managed to win the old Division 1, breaking into the Chelsea team two years after their first ever title in 1955, arriving at Spurs a year after they won their last in 1961. 


It's hardly a stain on his glittering career, but rather the empty slot on the end of his mantle piece. The real travesty will be if the country he represented, the country he broke records in and for do not recognise him before it's too late. Missing out on that World Cup final admittedly haunted him, but the outcome of his personal World Cup final can still fall his way.