England World Cup Winner Gordon Banks Has Died

Gordon Banks

World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks, who was between the sticks for England's triumphant 1966 final win against West Germany, has died at the age of 81.

Regarded as one of the game's greatest in his position, Banks was named Federation Internationale de Football Association goalkeeper of the year six times and earned 73 caps for England.

Widely recognised as one of the finest goalkeepers in the history of the game, Banks produced one of the World Cup's most iconic moments four years later by pulling off an astonishing reaction save to keep out a header from Brazil great Pele in Mexico City.

The news of his death was announced in a statement from his family on Twitter.

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. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

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He made one of the game's great saves to prevent a Pelé goal in the 1970 World Cup, regarded as one of the best of all-time, but his career was ended in 1972 when a auto crash cost him his sight in one eye.

"Gordon was a fantastic goalkeeper, without doubt one of the best England has ever had". Sad for football, Stoke City and for England fans.

"Sad to hear that Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81".

Former Leicester and Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright added: 'A true legend in every sense of the word, a gentleman and outstanding goalkeeper, RIP our 1966 World Cup winning goalie.

'Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died, ' Lineker said. A true legend and gentleman. 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.

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