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Pele pays tribute to goalkeeping magic of Gordon Banks

13 February 2019
Pele pays tribute to goalkeeping magic of Gordon Banks

Legendary England global keeper Gordon Banks, who made one appearance for Scarborough FC, has sadly passed away aged 81.

He won the League Cup with Leicester and Stoke.

Banks, who played in every game of the 1966 campaign on home soil, is probably best known for a wonder save he produced to deny Brazilian great Pele in the 1970 World Cup.

A bout of illness ruled Banks out of the quarter-final clash against West Germany, who gained revenge for their 1966 final defeat as Peter Bonetti deputised.

"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".

He said: "I am glad he saved my header - because that act was the start of a friendship between us that I will always treasure".

He added that despite all of his achievements, including winning three world cups, the thing people ask him about most is the Banks save.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight", his family said. Regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, the IFFHS named Banks the second-best goalkeeper of the 20th century.

England's official Twitter account tweeted: "We're deeply saddened to hear that Gordon Banks, our #WorldCup-winning goalkeeper, has passed away".

"It was particularly special to be with him at a Football Writers' tribute dinner a year ago and wish him well on his 80th birthday", opined Southgate.

Of all the loving tributes that have been pouring in for Gordon Banks today, Pele's farewell to his "magical friend" is perhaps the sweetest Pies have read.

One said: "RIP Gordon Banks".

He was still Stoke and England's number one when a auto crash in October 1972 cost him both the sight in one eye and his professional career.

Former England and Leicester striker, Gary Lineker wrote on social media: "Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died".

"He was one of the game's greatest goalkeepers, a provider of stunning World Cup memories & a gentleman". Thinking especially of Ursula, Julia, Wendy and Robert. He won his first England cap in 1963, four years before he joined Stoke. "Will be very sadly missed".