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GORDON BANKS 1937-2019

England great Gordon Banks dies

Legendary goalkeeper Gordon Banks helped England towards their finest hour in 1966 and his duel with Pelé captured imaginations around the world.

England great Gordon Banks dies
Getty Images

England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died, aged 81. Former Leicester City and Stoke City player Banks was capped 73 times for his country and was an ever-present as Alf Ramsey's team claimed glory on home soil in 1966.

Gordon Banks' incredible save to deny Pelé at Mexico 70
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Gordon Banks' incredible save to deny Pelé at Mexico 70

Save of the century

Widely recognised as one of the finest goalkeepers in the history of the game, Banks produced one of the World Cup's most iconic moments four years later by pulling off an astonishing reaction save to keep out a header from Brazil great Pelé in Mexico City. A bout of illness ruled Banks out of the quarter-final clash against West Germany, who gained revenge for their 1966 final defeat as Peter Bonetti deputised.

Great friends: Gordon Banks and Pelé
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Great friends: Gordon Banks and PeléDavid BebberREUTERS

Car accident

Banks helped Stoke to the League Cup in 1972, the club's only major honour and one he won with Leicester eight years earlier, before a car accident in October of that year cost him the sight in his right eye. That meant the end of Banks' illustrious career in England at the age of just 34, although he did enjoy a swansong in the North American Soccer League, representing Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1977 and 1978 and renewing acquaintances with the likes of George Best, Pelé and Carlos Alberto.

A statement from Banks' family, published on Stoke's website, read: "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. We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time."


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