Gordon Banks, World Cup winner with England in 1966, dies aged 81

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Legendary goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died, aged 81.

Banks was the goalkeeper when England won the World Cup in 1966 and is also remembered for one of the greatest ever saves to thwart Pele in 1970.

Pele's downward header at the Mexico World Cup appeared to beat Banks until he somehow dived down and scooped the ball over the bar.

It will go down as one of the greatest saves ever.

In the years since, Banks revealed his conversation with his Pele and defender Bobby Moore after that save.

“As I got to my feet,” Banks later recalled. “Pele came up to me and patted me on the back. ‘I thought that was a goal,’ he said. ‘You and me both,’ I replied.

"The TV footage of the game shows me laughing as I turn to take up my position for the corner. I was laughing at what Bobby Moore had just said to me. ‘You’re getting too old Banksy, you used to hold on to them.’ Like hell I did.”

Banks played 73 times for England and won a League Cup winners medal while at Stoke.

However, his career was brought to an end in 1972 when a car accident robbed him of sight in one eye.

“I wouldn’t say I was bitter because I was to blame for the crash,” he said later. “To begin with, they said there was only a 50-50 chance of going blind in the one eye, so I was quite optimistic. But I remember being at home and not being able to pick up the shadow of people walking past the window. It was a bad sign.”

In December 2015, it was announced he was receiving treatment for kidney cancer.

Gordon Banks 1937-2019.

R.I.P

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