Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves defends the Spurs fans' by claiming 'I'm proud to be called a Yid"

The club's record goalscorer has said that if fans will be arrested for using the word, then he'll stand up and shout it as well

Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has had his say on the controversial debate surrounding the use of the word “Yid” by Spurs fans.

Supporters have been warned that they could face criminal prosecution if they include the words in their football chants, even if the intended use is of a supportive nature. The Football Association are attempting to eliminate the use of the word following pressure from the Society of Black Lawyers to rid the game of its use.

But many fans have spoken against the intended prohibition of its use, claiming that it is used as a defence mechanism by Spurs fans to lessen the level of insult from the opposition support.

Greaves, who scored a club-record 268 goals in 381 appearances for the White Hart Lane outfit, has admitted that although he is not a religious man, he is proud to be called a “Yid” or “Yiddle” as it identifies his association with the club.

“People are trying to sanitise a situation for no reason whatsoever and if they are going to get arrested then I am going to stand up and shout it myself so I can be arrested as well,” he sold the Sunday People.

“They are chants in support of Tottenham Hotspur - that was the case 50 years ago, so why has it suddenly become offensive now?

“Do you seriously think that Tottenham supporters are chanting it as a racist remark?

“Up until a few weeks ago I dare wager half of them probably didn't know what it meant,” he added

Greaves, now 73-years-old, remembered how during his playing days with the club, he was proud to be called a “Yid” and that it had no detrimental meaning towards the club’s directors, managers or its Jewish connections.

“I played at White Hart Lane alongside names that tripped off the tongue: Yiddle Perryman, Yiddle Mackay from Scotland, Yiddle Jones from Rhonda Valley and Yiddle Jennings from Ireland,” said Greaves.

“Tottenham haven't got any more Jewish supporters than Arsenal.

“The only people who are really taking offence are the type of people who are looking for something to really take offence at - jumping on the political correctness bandwagon, going on television to try and make a name for themselves.”

The chants originally started when Spurs fans’ labelled themselves the “Yid Army” in response to some anti-Semitic chants from rival supporters. Despite the FA threatening criminal prosecution, they confirmed that no action would be taken over the fans using the word last weekend.

Spurs’ supporters also sang “We’re Tottenham Hotspur, we’ll sing what we want” in response to the threats of prosecution, and they are expected to continue chanting the word when they take on Cardiff later today.

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment