Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

England World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks dies, aged 81

England World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks dies, aged 81

England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81.

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

He started every game for his country during the 1966 tournament and played in the 4-2 victory over West Germany in the final.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight", the statement was quoted, as saying by BBC Football.

'We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him'. "Our thoughts are with Gordon's friends, family and supporters at this hard time".

In the group stage match in Guadalajara, later regarded as the "real final", Carlos Alberto sent Jairzinho flying down the right flank with a perfectly weighted through-ball. In the 10th minute, Jairzinho picked up the ball near the halfway line, ripped up the wing past Terry Cooper and whipped over an arcing cross. "Even though I was on the pitch I still don't know how he saved that header from Pele".

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Banks was named the second best goalkeeper of the 20th century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), behind Lev Yashin.

Banks made 510 league appearances for Chesterfield, Leicester and Stoke and won 73 senior worldwide caps.

He made one of the game's great saves to prevent a Pelé goal in the 1970 World Cup, regarded as one of the best of all-time, but his career was ended in 1972 when a auto crash cost him his sight in one eye.

Leicester City - one of his former clubs - posted they were saddened to hear of the news, while existing Foxes man Harry Maguire called Banks "a legend". Thinking especially of Ursula, Julia, Wendy and Robert.

While fans were also taking to social media to pay tribute to the England legend. "Will be very sadly missed". Obviously we shared 1966 but it was more than that.

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