Gordon Banks, England’s 1966 World Cup Winning Goalkeeper Has Died, Aged 81

gordon banks englandPA

Gordon Banks, England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper, has died aged 81.

Banks played 73 times for England and won a League Cup winners medal while at Stoke. He was also named Fifa goalkeeper of the year six times for his skill, prowess and good natured love of the beautiful game.

Still, Banks of England as he was popularly known, will be remembered as one of the greats of English football, after playing in goal for Sir Alf Ramsey’s legendary side.

1966 World Cup FinalGetty

The Banks family announced their terrible loss the morning after he passed away on Monday 11 February, 2019, reports the BBC.

They said:

It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight.

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

Now, tributes have flooded Twitter for the late, great sportsman:

Gary Lineker wrote:

Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died. @England’s World Cup winner was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man. #RIPGordon

A highlight of his career has to be the athlete’s diving save – a display of intense athleticism – to thwart Pelé in 1970 which has since been lauded as one of the greatest feats of goalkeeping.

His gravity-defying save of Pelé’s lunging header in Mexico in 1970 became known as the save of the century, reports the Guardian, but Banks was absent due to illness in the quarter-final defeat to West Germany.

Banks later recalled:

As I got to my feet, Pelé came up to me and patted me on the back. ‘I thought that was a goal’, he said. ‘You and me both,’ I replied.

Pele playing footballWikimedia Commons

He continued:

The TV footage of the game shows me laughing as I turn to take up my position for the corner. I was laughing at what Bobby Moore had just said to me.

‘You’re getting too old Banksy, you used to hold on to them.’ Like hell I did.

Banks’ playing career was brought to an abrupt end in 1972 when a car accident robbed him of sight in one eye.

Gordon Banks poses for a photograph during the Football Writers Association Tribute night at The Savoy, London.PA

After stints in the United States for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1977 and 1978, Banks briefly managed Telford United, but quit the game after he was sacked in December 1980.

In December 2015, it was announced he was receiving treatment for kidney cancer. What a legend. RIP.

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