England’s best strikers: Who ranks alongside Jimmy Greaves?

A look at some of the best the country has produced.

Pa Sport Staff
Sunday 19 September 2021 10:47
Jimmy Greaves had a successful career at Tottenham (PA)
Jimmy Greaves had a successful career at Tottenham (PA)

Former Chelsea, Tottenham and England striker Jimmy Greaves has died at the age of 81, Spurs have announced.

Greaves’ goals record means his name will be included in any debate about England’s greatest forwards.

He scored 44 times in 57 matches for his country while his 266 goals in 379 appearances for Tottenham remains a club record, as does his 41 goals in 40 games for Chelsea during the 1960/61 season.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at others who have a claim to being the best and their records.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring against Switzerland to become England’s all-time top scorer (Mike Egerton/PA)

The former Everton and Manchester United striker became England’s all-time record goalscorer with a penalty in a victory against Switzerland in September 2015. He went on to score three more times to finish on 53 goals for his country, four ahead of Sir Bobby Charlton Rooney also tops Manchester United’s list of all-time scorers, again with four more than Charlton, after leaving Old Trafford in the summer of 2017 with 253 goals to his name.

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker won the Golden Boot in Mexico in 1986 with six goals (John Stillwell/PA)

While Greaves can boast a World Cup-winners medal, no Englishman has scored more World Cup goals than Lineker. He won the Golden Boot in Mexico in 1986 with six goals, including a hat-trick against Poland, and scored four more times in 1990 as England reached the semi-finals in Italy. In all, Lineker scored 48 goals in 80 appearances for England, placing him third on the all-time list for his country. At club level, Lineker finished as Division One’s top scorer three times at Leicester, Everton and Tottenham as well as enjoying three largely successful seasons at Barcelona where he won the Copa del Rey and European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Michael Owen

Michael Owen celebrates scoring the second goal of his hat-trick against Germany in Munich in 2001 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Sixth in the all-time list of England goalscorers, Owen found the back of the net 40 times in his 89 caps. He scored 150 Premier League goals for Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester United and Stoke. He was the youngest ever to reach the landmark of 100 Premier League goals aged 23 years, four months and 12 days. Owen (2001) is the last Englishman to win the Ballon d’Or since Kevin Keegan in 1979.

Nat Lofthouse

Nat Lofthouse holding aloft the FA Cup at Wembley (PA)

Known as the ‘Lion of Vienna,’ Lofthouse was a one-club man, playing over 400 games for Bolton. His 285 goals between 1946 and 1961 still make him Wanderers’ top goalscorer. Lofthouse got his nickname after being knocked unconscious in scoring England’s winning goal against Austria in 1952, it was one of 30 goals he scored in 33 games for his country.

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer’s trademark celebration (Gareth Copley/PA)

Shearer shares seventh spot in England’s all-time goalscorer list with Lofthouse and Sir Tom Finney, with his 30 goals coming in 63 appearances for his country. Shearer scored 283 league goals in his career, including a record 260 in the Premier League – 52 more than Rooney who is second on that list. He scored 11 Premier League hat-tricks and a total of 422 goals in all competitions.