Richard Madeley shared a touching gift he once received from Jimmy Greaves as a young child on today’s Good Morning Britain, one day after his death.
Greaves died at home on Sunday morning aged 81. He had suffered a stroke in May 2015 which had left him wheelchair-bound and with severely impaired speech.
The ITV daytime programme paid tribute to the late football ace, with Richard opening up about the thoughtful present he was given from the England and Tottenham player.
Joining Susanna Reid in the studio, Richard recalled: ‘I personally never met him but when I was eight years old, I asked for his autograph.
‘My dad worked for Ford and he was doing a deal with Jimmy Greaves and cars and he took my autograph book to his meeting with Jimmy Greaves.
‘I spent all day in a state of excitement and dad came home with my book which had no other autographs in it, it was completely blank, and he said, “Rich, I’m sorry, Jimmy didn’t sign the book”.’
Richard Madeley was ‘waling on air’ after receiving the touching gift from Greaves (Picture: ITV)
Richard continued that he was about to burst into tears when his dad revealed Greaves had signed a black and white photograph instead.
‘He hadn’t just put Jimmy Greaves,’ the presenter shared, revealing that the sports star wrote: ‘To my old pal Richard from his best friend Jimmy Greaves.’
‘I was walking on air!’ he beamed.
Dr Hilary Jones also remembered Greaves, adding: ‘He had no ego, he was so down to earth, great sense of humour, lovely man, and we spent loads of time chatting and sharing jokes.’
Greaves died aged 81 on Sunday (Picture: Getty)
Spurs confirmed the news of Greaves’ death in a statement, with the Premier League club saying: ‘We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the great Jimmy Greaves, not just Tottenham’s record goalscorer but the finest marksman this country has ever seen. Jimmy passed away at home in the early hours of this morning, aged 81.
‘Throughout his wonderful playing career, Jimmy’s strike rate was phenomenal. His Spurs return was 266 goals in 379 appearances between 1961 and 1970 – 220 goals in 321 league games, 32 goals in 36 FA Cup ties, five in just eight League Cup ties and nine in 14 European matches.’
‘RIP Jimmy Greaves, 81,’ wrote former Good Morning Britain star Piers. ‘One of the greatest England footballers, brilliant broadcaster, fantastic bloke. Sad news.’
Dan penned: ‘My dad loved watching Jimmy Greaves on the pitch and I loved watching him on the TV.
‘His 44 goals for England came in just 57 games!!! Incredible footballer and a big part of so many people’s lives.’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.