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Gordon Banks, England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper, dies aged 81

12 February 2019

England legend Gordon Banks has died, aged 81.

Banks was named FWA Footballer of the Year in 1972, and was named FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year on six occasions.

Banks made 73 global appearances and lifted the 1966 World Cup in England's 4-2 win over West Germany.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight", a family statement read.

'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".

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.

Bank Man who made world’s most iconic save dies
Above former England goalkeeper Gordon Banks famous save from Brazil legend Pele at World Cup 1970 in Mexico

Banks won 73 caps for England between 1963 and 1972 and made almost 200 appearances for Stoke before his playing career was brought to an end due to a auto crash that cost him the sight in one eye.

That meant the end of Banks' illustrious career in England at the age of just 34, although he did enjoy a swansong in the North American Soccer League, representing Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1977 and 1978 and renewing acquaintances with the likes of George Best, Pele and Carlos Alberto.

The goalkeeper's spectacular stop in a group-stage clash with Brazil during England's defence of the trophy in Mexico is widely regarded as one of the greatest saves of all time.

England's official Twitter account wrote: "We're deeply saddened to hear that Gordon Banks, our #WorldCup-winning goalkeeper, has passed away. Really sad news. Growing up, one of the featured pieces of commentary I consistently heard was "that" save". A true legend and gentleman.

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". 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.

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

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Gordon Banks, England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper, dies aged 81