Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Sporting world pays tribute to 'legend and gentleman' Gordon Banks

Sporting world pays tribute to 'legend and gentleman' Gordon Banks

"Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died", tweeted Lineker.

Banks was born in Sheffield and won 73 caps, winning FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year six times.

It said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight".

"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".

The goalkeeper starred in England's 4-2 World Cup final victory over West Germany in 1966.

"Had the pleasure of meeting him a number of times and he was one of the game's true gentlemen, not to mention one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time".

Banks, though, somehow threw himself across to stick out his massive right hand and push the ball over the crossbar.

The ball appeared to be past Banks, but his agility and strength saw him get down and palm it high and wide to safety.

"From the moment I headed it, I was sure it had gone in", he said. And I was ready to celebrate. "At first I thought, 'You lucky so-and-so, ' but then I realised it has been a bit special". I understand why. The save was one of the best I have ever seen - in real life and in all the thousands of games I have watched since.

Thirty-eight years later, Pele travelled to Stoke to unveil a statue to Banks and recalled the save. "'You're getting old, Banksy, ' Bobby quipped".

Manchester City and England midfielder, Raheem Sterling said: "Of course there was THAT save, but its so much more we are mourning today".

Despite his eye injury, Banks continued to play until 1978 and ended his career at the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the North American Soccer League.

One of the draw assistants at the Russian Federation 2018 Final Draw, Banks shone at both Leicester City and Stoke City, making over 600 appearances between both clubs and winning the League Cup with the both.

The news of his death was revealed in a statement from the Banks family on the club's official website. Some touched the statue in reverence, or wiped away tears.

"Whenever we met, it was always like we had never been apart".

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