Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Former Chesterfield goalkeeper and World Cup hero Gordon Banks dies aged 81

Gordon Banks' famous save for England Gordon Banks' famous save for England
Shannon Reynolds | 12 February, 2019, 15:26

England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81.

England's official Twitter account tweeted: "We're deeply saddened to hear that Gordon Banks, our #WorldCup-winning goalkeeper, has passed away".

A national treasure, Banks was awarded an OBE in 1970 - the same year he made the so-called "save of the century" to deny Brazil legend Pele at the World Cup in Mexico.

He was involved in a vehicle crash in 1972 which made him lose his sight.

Gordon Banks at Chesterfield FC's former Saltergate stadium.

He is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.

'We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.

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Former England forward Sir Bobby Charlton, who played alongside Banks in the 1966 final, said: "Gordon was a fantastic goalkeeper, without doubt one of the best England has ever had".

"The ground was hard so I thought I should get off my line", Banks recalled to the BBC in 2017, "and as I dived I had to anticipate how high it was going to bounce".

"We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time". "Even though I was on the pitch I still don't know how he saved that header from Pele".

He was sold to Stoke for £50,000 in 1967, helping them win the League Cup in 1972.

Manchester City and England midfielder, Raheem Sterling said: "Of course there was THAT save, but its so much more we are mourning today".

He later played at club level in North America, with spells at Cleveland Stokers in the United Soccer Association and Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the NASL.

"As one of the finest goalkeepers in football history, Gordon will not only be remembered for his performances on the pitch but also as a champion and gentleman off the pitch", FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.

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