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Golden Oldies: Top Goal Scorers
In a career spanning just 14 years – which saw him play for three of London’s biggest clubs during the 60s and 70s – Jimmy Greaves amassed a sensational 422 goals in just 602 appearances. He scored over half of that mammoth total playing for Tottenham, where he spent the majority of his playing career. Jimmy spent a few months playing for Italian giants A.C. Milan after leaving Chelsea, scoring nine times in 14 appearances, before returning to England to join Spurs. Greaves is the third highest goalscorer for his country, for whom he scored 44 times from his 57 caps and he is the second highest goalscorer in the history of English football.
When Alan Shearer moved to his boyhood club Newcastle United, for a world-record fee of £15,000,000 back in 1996, people thought Newcastle were crazy, spending so much money on one player. But the Geordie hero payed that amount back tenfold during his ten years at Newcastle, scoring 148 goals in just over 300 games – a strike rate close to one goal in every two games. His sixteen year career, which included a Premier League title win with Blackburn Rovers in 1995, saw Shearer become the Premier League’s highest ever goalscorer, scoring 260 times for Newcastle, Blackburn and Southampton.
Shearer is the only player to score 100 Premier League goals for two different clubs. He jointly holds the record of the most goals in a single Premier League season and he has scored more goals than anyone else in a calendar year. Shearer’s symbolic single-raised-arm celebration may have been boring, but Newcastle United fans never got tired of seeing it.
Kenny Dalglish arrived at Anfield from Scottish Champion’s Celtic, looking to build on his already growing reputation. However, I don’t think even the man himself would have realised how brilliantly his time at Liverpool would go. The Reds won seven league titles and three European Cups in the first nine years after Dalglish came to Anfield. With the number seven adorned on his back – an iconic number in the world of football, thanks in-part to Dalglish’s on-field exploits – The Scottish forward earned the nickname “King Kenny”, as he notched up 118 goals in 355 appearances. He currently sits seventh on their highest goalscorer list and is frequently referred to as the greatest Liverpool player of all time.
The Everton legend may only be third on the highest ever English goalscorer list, but in terms of goal scoring rate, Dixie Dean’s career is simply unparalleled. He began his career at Tranmere Rovers, scoring 27 times in 30 appearances before moving to Goodison Park. He notched up 399 appearances for Everton, scoring 349 goals and leading the Blues to two League titles and one FA Cup triumph.
Dean is the only player in English footballing history to score over 60 goals in a single League season. Ferenc Deak, playing for Hungarian side Szentlorinc A.C. in 1946, is the only player to better Dean’s domestic tally. Somehow, Dixie only won 16 caps for England, but managed to score 18 goals in those 16 games and will be fondly remembered by Evertonians and England fans alike, as one of the most prolific goal scorers’ football has ever seen.