Football

Gordon Banks facing second battle with kidney cancer

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England World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has revealed he is suffering from kidney cancer for a second time.

Having lost one kidney to the disease 10 years ago, Banks is receiving chemotherapy treatment after blood tests showed the other is now affected.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "Last year we went on our annual holiday to Florida. A week later I couldn't sleep and then I couldn't even stand due to the pain.

"I was sent straight to hospital where they told me I had cancer. I was so shocked when they told me it was my kidney.

"They put me straight on medication and I am taking chemotherapy tablets three times a day for a month and then I am to have two months off them.

"The last time I had the cancer it was very large but they were able to remove the kidney and take the cancer away with it.

"We hope medication will make this cancer small enough for them to operate and carry out electrical treatment to break it up. But if it grows they will have to remove (the kidney) and I'll need a replacement."

Banks, who also lost the sight in his right eye in a car crash which ended his playing career in 1972, is drawing on the experience of his playing career to give him inspiration in his fight.

Now 77, Banks won the 1966 World Cup with England but is perhaps even better remembered for his remarkable diving save from Brazil striker Pele at the 1970 tournament.

He said: "If I could make a save like the one against Pele, while playing against the greatest in the world, then I will be able to battle through this health problem."

Banks had a 20-year playing career at club level, the majority of which was spent with Leicester and Stoke. He won the League Cup with both clubs as well as playing in two FA Cup finals with Leicester.

He was named FIFA's goalkeeper of the year on six occasions and in 1970 was awarded an OBE.

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