Legendary England World Cup-Winning Goalkeeper Gordon Banks Passes

Elena Summers
February 13, 2019

Banks became known as one of the best goalkeepers in the world during his global career and is remembered for making a remarkable save from Brazil's Pele at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Banks won 73 caps for England between 1963 and 1972 and made almost 200 appearances for Stoke before his playing career was brought to an end due to a auto crash that cost him the sight in one eye.

Banks' family released a statement through his former club Stoke City on Tuesday, confirming the 81-year-old had "passed away peacefully overnight".

But the 1966 World Cup victor would always share a joke with his old friend over his part in Pele's unique World Cup story.

Gordon Banks is perhaps best known for his wonder save from Pele during the 1970 World Cup against Brazil.

The goalkeeper made his England debut in 1963 and played every game of the 1966 World Cup, including the final at Wembley where the hosts beat West Germany 4-2 to win the tournament for the first time.

Discussing the individual qualities which have seen Banks go down as one of the best goalkeepers in football history, the Birch added: "For me, at the time I played, he was the world's greatest goalkeeper". He's also the glory of world football.

"Gordon, who started his career at Chesterfield, was of course part of England's 1966 World Cup-winning team".

Of all the loving tributes that have been pouring in for Gordon Banks today, Pele's farewell to his "magical friend" is perhaps the sweetest Pies have read.

Soon after Banks' death was announced, football fans and others began taking flowers and scarves to the life-size statue of him outside the Stoke City stadium.

'On behalf of everyone connected with England, I send my condolences to his wife Ursula, his family and friends'. Thinking especially of Ursula, Julia, Wendy and Robert. "Will be very sadly missed".

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates said Banks - who played 250 times for The Potters after he joined from Leicester in 1967 - had not been in good health for several weeks. "All my thoughts with the family".

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