History

Chelsea 6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

Division One - 30 August 1958

‘These wonderful Chelsea youngsters – some of them are just over their soccer teething,’ wrote Ross Hall of the Daily Mirror after this demonstration by arguably Chelsea’s greatest youth product of all time. ‘Sixty-two thousand fans were privileged to see the coronation of Greaves, King of Sharpshooters.’

This was the Dagenham boy Jimmy’s first five-goal haul for the Blues, prompting immense praise from his manager Ted Drake, himself a wonderful striker: ‘He is the greatest finisher I have ever seen.’ The fellow east-ender who scouted him, Jimmy Thompson, promised Greaves a new ‘titfer’ should he top 23 goals for the season. ‘I may as well buy the hat now,’ he said after this stunning performance.

Poor Billy Wright, the Wolves and England centre-half and captain, was left with twisted blood after Chelsea’s 18-year-old star ‘out-speeded, out-skilled and out-thought‘ his opponents and coolly hit the ball past Malcolm Finlayson from every angle. A sixth strike was dubiously ruled out.

Even Wolves boss Stan Cullis was impressed. ‘You don’t need a team with a chap like Greaves,’ he said. ‘Just let him stand near goal and give him the ball. His eye, his skill, his marksmanship are uncanny.’

The next day Jimmy kept wicket for Chelsea in a match at Camberley – and stumped two batsmen.

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