England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81.
The news was revealed in a statement from the Banks family on the Stoke City website.
It said: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight.
“We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.
“We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time.”
During his career, Banks made 510 league appearances for Chesterfield, Leicester and Stoke and won 73 senior international caps. He was one of the stars of England’s 1966 World Cup triumph against West Germany.
He will be best remembered for a remarkable save he made to deny Brazil superstar Pele four years later in Mexico. To this day, the Brazilian doesn’t know how the England goal keeper managed to twist his body to stop the ball entering the goal.
A car crash in October 1972 led to him losing the sight in his right eye and he retired in the summer of 1973.
He still went on to have a short, successful spell in goal for American side Fort Lauderdale Strikers, despite his visual impairment. He coached at Stoke and Port Vale and was boss of non-league Telford, with his sacking in 1980 after just one full season in charge convincing him he did not want to carry on in management.
Tributes poured in from the footballing world for Banks, who made one of his most famous saves against Pele at the 1970 World Cup.
Presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker paid tribute to Banks on Twitter: “Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died. @England’s World Cup winner was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man. #RIPGordon”