England great Gordon Banks dies

England great Gordon Banks dies

His death was confirmed by his former club Stoke City which tweeted a statement from his family.

England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81.

Gordon Banks, England's 1966 World Cup winning goalkeeper, has died at the age of 81.

A national treasure, Banks was awarded an OBE in 1970 - the same year he made the so-called "save of the century" to deny Brazil legend Pele at the World Cup in Mexico.

Later that year he lost the sight in his right eye after a vehicle crash.

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.

The footballing legend famously played every game of the 1966 World Cup which saw England lift the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley, after beating Germany 4-2 in extra time.

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'We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.

"Banksie", as he was known, was already in his 20s when he started his club career by making his debut for Chesterfield before spells with Leicester (1959-67) and Stoke (1967-73) in the top division of English soccer.

"Our thoughts are with Gordon's friends, family and supporters at this hard time".

He won the League Cup with Leicester and Stoke.

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Gary Lineker called Banks "an absolute hero of mine", while current star Raheem Sterling said his legacy "will live on". 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.

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