'SIR Lewis Hamilton but Jimmy Greaves only gets an MBE?'

‘SIR Lewis Hamilton but Jimmy Greaves only gets an MBE?’ Furious social media users say its an ‘insult’ that the England footballer was overlooked for a knighthood in New Year’s honours

  • Football fans are furious that Jimmy Greaves will get just an MBE this year
  • Twitter users raged that seven-time F1 winner Lewis Hamilton will be knighted  
  • Sportsmail ran a campaign to get the ex-Chelsea and Spurs star honoured 
  • Greaves’ wife claims it is ‘too little, too late’ to recognise her husband with MBE 

Football fans are furious that Jimmy Greaves will receive just an MBE for his services to football while Lewis Hamilton will be knighted.  

Greaves is included in the New Year’s Honours revealed yesterday, after Sportsmail campaigned for his achievements, inexplicably overlooked for so many years.

He will receive only an MBE despite scoring 357 goals in the top-flight of English football for Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham – which stands as a record almost 50 years after his last game.

Greaves also scored 44 goals in 57 games for England and was part of the World Cup-winning squad in 1966, though injury denied him a place in the final.  

Meanwhile, seven-time F1 champion Hamilton, who is worth an estimated £250million and quit the UK in 2007 to live in the tax havens of Switzerland and Monaco, is being knighted.

The 35-year-old was honoured alongside stars, including actress Sheila Hancock, and NHS workers who have been on the frontline of the pandemic.

Responding to the news, Twitter users raged about the ‘insult’, with one commenting: ‘He [Hamilton] drove a car that anyone could win with, whereas Jimmy Greaves, a true sportsman, and a gentleman, the greatest goalscorer England has produced, gets an MBE about 50 years too late’.

Another said: ‘Sir Lewis Hamilton yet only now is the great Jimmy Greaves getting an MBE? We do like to do things a*** over t** in this country!’   


Football fans took to Twitter to rage about how Lewis Hamilton will be knighted while Jimmy Greaves will receive just an MBE for his services to football 

Harry Kane of Tottenham meets former Tottenham player Jimmy Greaves at the Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on October 20, 2017 in Enfield

Responding to the news, Twitter users raged that Hamilton was made a knight despite living in a tax haven while 80-year-old Greaves has been denied the prestigious award 

‘Jimmy Greaves should have be knighted,’ one Twitter user said. ‘Lewis Hamilton deserves sod all. He might be a great racing driver but if others had had the amount of help he has had any one of them could have reproduced his achievements’. 

Another posted: ‘How to round off a really w***y year. A Knighthood for Lewis Hamilton. But ONLY an MBE for Jimmy Greaves.’

One social-media user said: ‘Jimmy Greaves was more deserving, and let’s be honest, could probably win a Grand Prix in that Mercedes’. 

‘Lewis Hamilton gets a knighthood. Jimmy Greaves just gets an MBE,’ another commented. ‘Should be the other way round. That guy [Hamilton] will be insufferable now.’

Others called the award ‘a mere MBE for the legendary Jimmy Greaves’ and said it ‘falls well short of what he deserves’, adding the hashtag #sirjimmygreaves. 

A Twitter user claimed: ‘In what kind of bonkers-loony world, does Lewis Hamilton merit a knighthood. But Jimmy Greaves is worth only an MBE?’

Another said: ‘Well deserved Jimmy!! Its far too little and rather late. Makes me angry to see an arrogant t****r such as Lewis Hamilton getting a knighthood for driving a car that nothing else can beat yet Jimmy Greaves, truly the best the World has seen in what he does gets just an MBE.’ 

Greaves’ wife Irene believes the MBE is too little, too late. ‘It is a small degree of recognition for him,’ she said. 

Greaves (above) scored 357 goals for Chelsea, Spurs and West Ham and 44 in 57 internationals

Irene Greaves (R) claims the recent decision to give her husband (L) a MBE is ‘an afterthought’

Responding to the news, Twitter users raged that Hamilton was made a knight despite living in a tax haven while 80-year-old Greaves has been denied the prestigious award 

‘But my reaction is that it’s 20 years too late and it’s not a very good honour. I think he’s worth more than that. 

‘He still holds all those records and he’s done so many things in his life. Now he’s 80, he’s had a stroke and they do something about it. 

‘To me, it feels like they have the attitude that they’ve got to give him something so let’s give him that, because it will stop people going on about it. So I’m not too happy about it, but that’s how I feel.’  

After retirement, Greaves beat alcoholism and built a successful career as a popular TV presenter, which included the hit Saint & Greavsie show hosted with former Liverpool and Scotland striker Ian St John. 

Greaves has long been cherished as a national treasure yet remained overlooked by the honours system until Sportsmail took up his case this year.

‘Personally, I think it is a tremendous honour,’ said his son Danny. ‘If you’d told Dad when he was a teenager starting his football career that one day he would be honoured by the Queen, he would have probably replied with something witty and off-the-cuff.

‘But I am a very proud son and we are a very proud family. We’ve always been very proud of him.   

‘A lot of people I know probably would agree with Mum that it’s come too late and not quite what they were hoping for. 

‘I’ve met many Spurs fans over the years and spoken to friends and former team-mates who would have loved him to be Sir Jimmy Greaves. I would agree, of course. 

‘As his son, that would be great because you always want the best for your family.  

Danny Greaves (right), revealed his pride in his father’s award  after Sportsmail’s campaign

Greaves (right) has been in poor health since a recent stroke and requires care four times a day

‘I still think it’s fantastic. I’m absolutely delighted he’s to be honoured even at this late stage in his life. It doesn’t come much bigger than being honoured by the Queen.’

Greaves has been in poor health since a stroke in 2015. 

His speech is limited and he requires care four times a day, but Irene and children Lynn, Danny, Mitzi and Andrew, are determined to try to get him to an investiture next year.

‘Dad is a big supporter of the royal family,’ said Danny. ‘As a family, we would like to get him there to collect the honour. 

‘He has been fortunate to visit Buckingham Palace and meet the Queen, and he would like to meet Prince William, who I know is an Aston Villa supporter and a big football fan. He would be very happy and proud.’ 

The family were keen to extend their gratitude to friends, former team-mates and colleagues who supported Sportsmail’s campaign to see him honoured. 

Sir Geoff Hurst led the campaign with support from many others, including ex-Spurs stars Cliff Jones and Steve Perryman and former TV presenter Gary Newbon, former journalist Norman Giller and Greaves’ long-time agent Terry Baker.

‘Thank you to them,’ said Danny. ‘This should be dedicated to all those who have supported Dad through his life and his career and helped him to be a success. 

‘In particular to supporters who have been touched by his work over the years, whether as a player, on TV with Saint & Greavsie or by reading his columns in newspapers. 

‘I’d like to thank them for the warmth, love and kindness they have shown, and for holding him dear to their hearts.’

To celebrate Greaves’ MBE, BT Sport plan to broadcast Greavsie, the documentary film of his life, on New Year’s Day at 8pm.

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