Gordon Banks, England’s 1966 World Cup winning goalkeeper, has died aged 81.

A statement released by his family via one of his former clubs Stoke City said: “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.”

Widely regarded as England’s best-ever goalkeeper, Banks played in the World Cup final at Wembley in 1966 and lifted the trophy.

Four years later at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, Banks pulled off one of the greatest saves in football history, denying Brazilian superstar Pele. 

The great save from Pele at the 1970 World Cup

He missed the quarter final against West Germany through illness, and England were subsequently knocked out.

Banks racked up 628 appearances during a 15-year career in the Football League and won 73 caps for his country.

His career started at Chesterfield in 1958, where he stayed for a season and played 23 goals before moving on to Leicester City. 

This is where he stayed for eight years, accumulating 293 appearances. A year after winning the World Cup, in 1967, Banks secured a move to his hometown Stoke City where he played 194 games. 

Loan moves to Cleveland Stokers and Hellenic were followed by a one-year stint in the US with Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and his final competitive appearance came in Ireland in 1977 when he played one game for St Patrick’s Athletic on loan.

Banks played his last game for England in 1972

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