London - Former England and Tottenham Hotspur striker Jimmy Greaves has left intensive care after suffering a severe stroke, his family announced on Thursday.
The 75-year-old, who scored 44 goals for England and also played for Chelsea, AC Milan and West Ham United, was hospitalised on Sunday, prompting an outpouring of support from within the football community.
"We can tell you that Jimmy is out of intensive care and is able to sit up in bed," Greaves's family said in a statement released by his agent, Terry Baker. "Whilst he is by no means out of the woods, there is room for cautious optimism."
Greaves's family thanked hospital staff and "over 30,000 well-wishers", adding: "The support shown has been amazing and heart-warming.
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"Please continue to have good thoughts for him for the long road ahead as he fights this terrible thing that has happened."
Greaves's wife, Irene, had earlier warned that he faced a "long, slow road to recovery".
Greaves is Tottenham's all-time leading scorer with 266 goals in 379 games and scored more league goals (366) than any other player in Europe's five major championships (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France).
He played at two World Cups, but injury prevented him from playing in the 1966 final on home soil, when his replacement Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over West Germany to give England their one and only World Cup.
Greaves suffered a minor stroke in 2012, but was thought to have made a full recovery.
He had been due to be indicted into the Tottenham Hall of Fame in a sell-out ceremony at White Hart Lane on May 13.For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.