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Gordon Banks


John
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Gordon Banks has passed away. He was our keeper in the 1966 World Cup and made that unbelievable save from Pele in the 1970 World Cup finals. He was the best goalkeeper that I have ever seen play by a country mile. Gordon also made a brilliant save from a Geoff Hurst penalty in a League Cup semi-final in the early 70s at Upton Park among others too frequent to mention

He was in goal for Leicester for my first ever Villa game and not surprisingly kept a clean sheet. He also had a connection with our club having had a spell as goalkeeping coach at Villa Park. He gave a defence such confidence and was known as being as safe as The Bank of England.

He had such a smile and I’m proud to say that he gave me one of them when I couldn’t resist shouting “Hallo Gordon” to him as he took his seat in the stand before one of our games at Coventry. He had time for fans. What a player he was and what a nice man. Thanks for the memories Gordon!  My thoughts are with his family and with his fellow World Cup winners who have lost someone very special to them and to us.     

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England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died aged 81.

Regarded as one of the game's greatest in his position, Banks was named Fifa goalkeeper of the year six times and earned 73 caps for England.

He is perhaps best known for his wonder save from Pele during the 1970 World Cup against Brazil.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47196017

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I’m sure I once read somewhere that Banks himself didn’t consider the save in 1970 to be his best. Have tried to find the quote but it’s a bit difficult with all the articles about him today.

Whether or not it’s the best, it’s probably the most iconic save. The current world champions against the soon to be champions - the most lauded team ever, from the most famous player of that side, in probably the most iconic World Cup. Kinda hard to argue against it really. 

He has his critics but Pele has said some very nice things about him today, much like when Bobby Moore passed away. You do have the sense that there’s a real kinship between the top players from that era. 

Anyway, wherever his standing in the game, Gordon Banks always appeared to be a genuinely good man. He was greatly admired and he’ll be much missed.

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