Gordon Banks, England World Cup winning goalkeeper, dies at age 81

Gordon Banks is regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers to ever have played the game. Credit PA

Gordon Banks, England World Cup winning goalkeeper, dies at age 81

Gordon Banks is probably best known for a wonder save he produced to deny football legend Pele in a 1970 World Cup group match in Mexico that Brazil won 1-0.

Banks spent most of his club career with Leicester City and Stoke City, and he even played in the United States with the Cleveland Stokers in 1967 and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers from 1977-78.

A family statement read: "It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight".

Since the tragic news was announced, tributes have been flooding in from the sporting world. "The ball actually hit the top of my hand and looked as though it was going into the top of the net". "We had some great goalkeepers in those days, and the only person I can think who came near was Pat Jennings".

The man who entered football's history books after making the game's greatest ever goalkeeping save, has died.

"Whenever we met, it was always like we had never been apart".

He added that despite all of his achievements, including winning three world cups, the thing people ask him about most is the Banks save.

In 2013, the Birch hosted the Club's "Ice Kings" squad, including Gordon Banks, at King Power Stadium. "At first I thought, 'You lucky so-and-so, ' but then I realised it has been a bit special".

'On behalf of everyone connected with England, I send my condolences to his wife Ursula, his family and friends'.

Another said: "Gordon Banks, a true England great, will always be remembered for that save from Pele".

"A fierce opponent and a good man. Rest in peace, Gordon Banks #DieMannschaft", it tweeted. But you were also so much more.

Mr Banks made 628 appearances during a 15-year career in the Football League and won 73 caps for his country. He played in four cup finals for the club, as they were beaten in the 1961 and 1963 FA Cup finals, before winning the League Cup in 1964 and finishing as finalists in 1965.

He played every minute of the 1966 World Cup campaign, including the 4-2 win over West Germany in the final - still the nation's only triumph to date.

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