England’s World Cup-Winning Goalkeeper Gordon Banks Has Died

The England World Cup winning keeper's family has announced that he passed away overnight at the age of 81.

Banks, whose club playing career revolved largely around Stoke and Leicester City, is the latest of the 1966 team to pass away.

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.

He made 73 caps for England while during his club career, he won the League Cup with Stoke and Leicester.

In a Facebook post, Pele said: "For many people, their memory of Gordon Banks is defined by the save he made against me in 1970".

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

"Gordon will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time".

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

He made his global debut in 1963 and though he was not the headline-grabber in a high-scoring 4-2 victory in the Final of the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the contribution he made to the hosts' conquest throughout the tournament was irrefutable.

Details of Banks" death have been kept private but his family confirmed the goalkeeping legend passed away "peacefully'. Many consider it to be the greatest save of all time.

Former England player Michael Owen called him "one of the game's true gentleman".

"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".

Banks lost the sight in his right eye after being injured in a road accident in 1972 and retired at the age of 34 as a result. "RIP Gordon Banks", tweeted Pickford.

Banks' legacy will live on, especially thanks to his incredible World Cup record.

Football's global governing body FIFA sent its condolences.

"I can't speak about other eras, but he must be one of, if not the, greatest goalkeeper of all time".

"When we had training sessions (in Mexico), I noticed that when the ball was dropping in front of me, it was kicking up, not staying low like it did in England", Banks said in an interview on the Football Writers' Association website in January 2018.

Vanessa Coleman