12 February 2019 11:30
"Gordon spoke to the room about that incredible save from Pele against Brazil back in 1970 and moments like that from his remarkable World Cup-winning career will continue to linger long in the memory. Gordon Banks, who has died aged 81, will take his place in history as a key component of the only England team to win the World Cup as West Germany were beaten at Wembley on 30 July 1966. The defining moment of the legendary goalkeeper's career, however, came four years later when Sir Alf Ramsey's England went to Mexico to defend their crown - and it is that piece of brilliance for which he will always be remembered. Such was his reliability, the phrase 'Safe As The Banks Of England' was coined about him - but he could also produce rare acts of genius and it was in Guadalajara on 7 June 1970 that he produced the save many still regard as the greatest in the game's history. Banks, with typical modesty, later described the save as "lucky" but that, along with his place in England's World Cup win, secured his place in football history.
He said: "They won't remember me for winning the World Cup. It will be for that save." The Sheffield-born goalkeeper started his career at Chesterfield and showed such promise in his 23 games that he signed for First Division club Leicester City for £7,000 in July 1959. It was here he forged his reputation, producing what he regarded as one of the finest performances of his career in the 1963 FA Cup semi-final when Leicester City beat Liverpool 1-0 at Hillsborough, although the Wembley final was a personal disappointment for Banks as they lost 3-1 to Manchester United. Banks was undisputed first choice by the time of the 1966 World Cup was played on home soil and performed faultlessly throughout the tournament, being widely acknowledged as the best goalkeeper in the game as England lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy. And so to Mexico in 1970 where, after his moment of brilliance, Banks was also the central figure in the game where England lost their crown and the balance of power shifted. Banks' sudden illness led to conspiracy theories that the keeper - so vital to an England team that was not popular among locals after uncomplimentary comments by Ramsey about Argentina in the 1966 World Cup - had been deliberately poisoned.
This is the man, however, whose name will always be regarded among the greats of the game - and the goalkeeper who made the save by which all others are still measured. England legend Gordon Banks OBE has died aged 81 it has been confirmed. The goalkeeper who helped England lift the World Cup in 1966 died 'peacefully' overnight his family have confirmed. However in a statement issued this morning the club said: "From the family of Gordon Banks - It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight. England World Cup winner was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man.
Widely regarded as England's best-ever goalkeeper, Banks played in the World Cup final at Wembley in 1966 and lifted the trophy as part of the side that beat West Germany. Media playback is not supported on this device Watch: Banks makes wonder save to deny Pele at 1970 World Cup England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died aged 81. Regarded as one of the game's greatest in his position, Banks was named Fifa goalkeeper of the year six times and earned 73 caps for England. He is perhaps best known for his wonder save from Pele during the 1970 World Cup against Brazil. Born in Sheffield, he won the League Cup with Stoke and Leicester, before retiring in 1973. "It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight," his family said. Sir Bobby Charlton, who was part of the team alongside Banks that won the World Cup in 1966, said: "Gordon was a fantastic goalkeeper, without doubt one of the best England has ever had. England and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was among the first to pay tribute, tweeting: "Of course there was that save, but it's so much more we are mourning today. Former England striker Gary Lineker said: "An absolute hero of mine, and countless others, England's World Cup winner was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man." RIP Gordon Banks," tweeted Leicester and England defender Harry Maguire, while Watford keeper Ben Foster said: "Had the pleasure of meeting you as an 18-year old-with my Dad, and him being completely star struck by you. Banks (far left) as England lifted the World Cup in 1966 Former England midfielder Alan Mullery played with Banks in the 1970 World Cup match against Brazil, and described to 5 live the famous save that denied Pele. "Gordon spoke to the room about that incredible save from Pele and moments like that from his remarkable World Cup-winning career will continue to linger long in the memory. Banks started his career at Chesterfield, before joining Leicester in 1959 for £7,000, and it was at the Foxes that he established himself as England's number one, earning his first international cap in 1963 against Scotland. He played in every game of the 1966 World Cup campaign, culminating in the 4-2 victory over West Germany in the final at Wembley. In eight years at Leicester, he was runner-up in two FA Cup finals and won the League Cup in 1964, before joining Stoke in 1967.