Gordon Banks, one of the heroes of England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, has sadly passed away aged 81.
The football legend is widely regarded as one of the sport’s greatest ever goalkeepers who enjoyed a stellar 20-year playing career during which he accumulated 73 caps for England, and made nearly 300 appearances for Leicester City where he won the League Cup, a competition he also won at Stoke City.
The Sheffield-born shot-stopper also sported the shirts of Chesterfield, American sides Cleveland Stokers and Fort Lauderdale Strikers, South African outfit Hellenic, and Ireland’s St Patrick’s Athletic.
Banks memorably played in all six of England’s games en route to winning the 1966 World Cup, while his best save arguably came four years later when he somehow denied fellow legend Pele from point-blank range at the 1970 World Cup - scroll down for video.
After hanging up his gloves Banks, who was named FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year no fewer than six times, had a coaching spell at Port Vale, followed by a brief stint as manager of Telford United.
Tributes from the sporting sphere have since poured in following the news of Banks’ passing on Tuesday morning.
England, plus his former club sides Stoke and Leicester, all paid tribute to the great man:
We’re deeply saddened to hear that Gordon Banks, our #WorldCup-winning goalkeeper, has passed away. Our thoughts are with Gordon’s friends, family and supporters at this difficult time. (@England)
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. (@stokecity)
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. (@LCFC)
1966 World Cup teammate Sir Bobby Charlton:
"Gordon was a fantastic goalkeeper and I was proud to call him a team-mate. He will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time."
Ex-Arsenal keeper Bob Wilson, speaking on BBC Radio 5 about THAT save:
“He showed amazing agility…I don’t think I will ever see a better save in my life”
Another goalkeeping legend, in Peter Schmeichel, said:
"An inspiration, a winner and a true gentleman. My thoughts are with his family and friends."
Former England striker Gary Lineker was quick to pay tribute to one of his footballing heroes:
"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."
As was Paul Gascoigne:
So sorry to hear the news of my good friend gordon banks who passed away a few hrs ago myself and @Shanewh1tfield and all at kong events send our condolences what a loss & an unbelievable goal keeper & an incredible man a really true gentleman RIP mate xxGAZZAxxx
England and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling tweeted:
"Of course there was that save, but it's so much more we are mourning today. RIP Gordon Banks. England legend, your legacy will live on."