England's World Cup-winning keeper Banks dead at 81

Tanya Simon
February 12, 2019

The news was announced in a statement from the Banks family on his former club Stoke City's official website.

Leicester City, for whom Banks made 293 league appearances for, tweeted: "Leicester City Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the death of our former goalkeeper Gordon Banks OBE, who has passed away at the age of 81".

Banks won the World Cup England in 1966, but the most famous moment of his career came in the 1970 World Cup when he saved a towering header from Pele.

Regarded as one of the game's greatest in his position, Banks was named Federation Internationale de Football Association goalkeeper of the year six times and earned 73 caps for England.

Former England striker Gary Lineker said: "An absolute hero of mine, and countless others, England's World Cup victor was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man".

England's top goalscorer in World Cup finals Gary Lineker posted a heartfelt message to his "hero" Banks, while hailing him as one of the greatest to play the sport.

'@England's World Cup victor was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man. #RIPGordon'. RIP Gordon Banks. @England legend, your legacy will live on.

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Marcelo Bielsa's side are now second in the table, trailing Norwich City by two points. Fans have been wishing Clarke the best.

Fellow ex-England global Ray Parlour, meanwhile, hailed his save against Pele as the "best ever": 'More sad news in the football world.

"Sad to hear that Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81".

England manager Gareth Southgate said: "I am deeply saddened to hear of Gordon's passing".

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".

"We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time". A true legend and gentleman.

"Our thoughts are with Gordon's family and friends".

Gordon Banks' family said he had passed away in his sleep.

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