Tributes flood in as football world mourns England hero Gordon Banks

Date published: Tuesday 12th February 2019 10:19 - James Marshment

England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81, his former club Stoke have announced.

The news was revealed in a statement from the Banks family on the club’s official website.

It 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.

“We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time.”

Presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: “Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died. @England’s World Cup winner was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man. #RIPGordon”

England and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling tweeted: “Of course there was THAT save, but its so much more we are mourning today. RIP Gordon Banks. @England legend, your legacy will live on. All my thoughts with the family.”

Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne added: “So sorry to hear the news of my good friend Gordon Banks, who passed away a few hours ago…. What a loss. An unbelievable goalkeeper and an incredible man – a true gentleman. RIP mate.”

Banks made 510 league appearances for Chesterfield, Leicester and Stoke and won 73 senior international caps. He was one of the stars of England’s 1966 World Cup triumph against West Germany.

He will always be remembered for a remarkable save he made to deny Brazil superstar Pele four years later in Mexico.

Banks lost the sight in his right eye after being injured in a road accident in 1972 and retired at the age of 34 as a result.

Leicester City, for whom Banks played for much of the 1960s, tweeted: “Leicester City Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the death of our former goalkeeper Gordon Banks OBE, who has passed away at the age of 81.”

Leicester City and England defender Harry Maguire wrote on Twitter: “A World Cup winner, a legend. RIP Gordon Banks.”

Ex-England striker Michael Owen tweeted: “Sad to hear that Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81. 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. Rest In Peace.”

Peter Shilton, who followed Banks as England number one, tweeted: “I’m devastated – today Ive lost my hero our condolences to his family rip Gordon.”

Chesterfield FC, where Banks began his career in the late 1950s, tweeted: “The sad news reaches us that legendary former Spireite Gordon Banks has passed away. Gordon, who started his career at Chesterfield, was of course part of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team. Our thoughts are with Gordon’s family and friends.”

England manager Gareth Southgate said on the Football Association website: “I am deeply saddened to hear of Gordon’s passing.

“An all-time great for England, I was privileged enough to be in his company on a number of occasions.

“It was particularly special to be with him at a Football Writers’ tribute dinner last year and wish him well on his 80th birthday.

“Gordon spoke to the room about that incredible save from Pele against Brazil back in 1970 and moments like that from his remarkable World Cup-winning career will continue to linger long in the memory.

“On behalf of everyone connected with England, I send my condolences to his wife Ursula, his family and friends.”

The Germany football team’s Twitter account posted an image of Banks embracing opposition players on the Wembley pitch in 1966.

“A fierce opponent and a good man. Rest in peace, Gordon Banks,” they tweeted.

Former Manchester United and Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel tweeted: “So sad to hear that Gordon Banks one of my heroes and a true legend in life and football, has passed away. An inspiration, a winner and a true gentleman. My thoughts are with his family and friends. #RIPGordonBanks”

Leicester City and former England striker Jamie Vardy tweeted an image of Banks’ famous save against Brazil, with the words: “Legend….. RIP Gordon Banks.”

Fellow England goalkeeper David Seaman tweeted: “So sad to hear of the passing of a true legend #gordonbanks”

Another former England number one, Ray Clemence, posted on Twitter: “This is such sad news someone I looked up to and a great mentor. I had the honour of training with him in his last couple of years with England. Definitely England’s greatest goalkeeper and will be sadly missed, wonderful man. Thoughts are with family and friends #RIP”

In a statement tweeted by Manchester United, Banks’ World Cup-winning team-mate Sir Bobby Charlton said: “Gordon was a fantastic goalkeeper and I was proud to call him a team-mate.

“He will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”

Current England number one Jordan Pickford tweeted a video of Banks’ save against Pele and wrote: “One of the greatest saves of all time. RIP Gordon Banks. A true legend of the game. All my thoughts with your family and friends at this difficult time.”

Banks was an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and their chief executive, Jeremy Hughes, said in a statement: “Gordon Banks will be remembered for uniting the nation in celebration with his heroic 1966 World Cup-winning performance and the greatest save of all time.

“He was a deeply committed and passionate Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador and united the nation again, this time against dementia.

“Gordon raised funds and awareness to help people affected by dementia, including his brother David and many of his 1966 World Cup-winning team-mates.

“Our thoughts are with his friends, family and team-mates at this sad time.”

Current England skipper Harry Kane tweeted: “Very sad to hear the news of Gordon Banks passing away. An @England legend, World Cup winner and made one of the best saves ever. Rest in peace.



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