England '66 legend Gordon Banks dies aged 81

Florence Fletcher
February 13, 2019

The football world has been paying tribute to Banks, who won the 1966 World Cup and made a stunning save to deny Pele at the 1970 tournament.

Banks, who revealed in 2016 that he was battling kidney cancer for the second time, died peacefully overnight at the age of 81.

"I had the privilege of becoming good friends with him over the years because we are from the same era and he was an opponent of mine on many occasions".

We, at Soccer Laduma, send our condolences to the family and friends of Gordon Banks.

Four years later at the next World Cup, Banks saved a shot from Brazil great Pele, keeping a powerful header out of goal with one hand (above).

"So I am glad he saved my header - because that act was the start of a friendship between us that I will always treasure".

Tributes poured in from football stars, pundits and clubs, including Gary Lineker who tweeted his condolences, calling Banks "an absolute here of mine".

Gordon Banks was one of England's heroes in the 1966 World Cup, helping his country to their first ever world title. Despite this success, he was dropped by Leicester and sold on to Stoke City for £50,000 in April 1967.

Southgate - who reignited the kind of modesty of spirit and fairplay engendered by the 1966 side that has been largely missing in England teams since that era - said he had enjoyed spending time with an "all-time great".

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England's official Twitter account wrote: "We're deeply saddened to hear that Gordon Banks, our #WorldCup-winning goalkeeper, has passed away".

Former England player Michael Owen called him "one of the game's true gentleman".

The veteran broadcaster slipped up during a news report about footballing great Gordon Banks' passing.

Gordon Banks jumps to make a save in the match with Hungary at Wembley.

It will be remembered as arguably the greatest save of all time and was the result of foresight, hard work and dedication.

England captain and World Cup Golden Boot victor Harry Kane tweeted: 'Very sad to hear the news of Gordon Banks passing away.

He lost the sight in his right eye following a road accident in 1972, retiring the next year aged 34.

"I can't speak about other eras, but he must be one of, if not the, greatest goalkeeper of all time".

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