Legendary goalkeeper Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81.
Banks was the goalkeeper for England when they won the 1966 World Cup on home soil and he produced one of the greatest saves in history in the 1970 World Cup to deny Brazil’s Pele.
The former Leicester City and Stoke City goalkeeper was known across the planet as one of the all-time great stoppers. Banks was named the FIFA goalkeeper of the year for five-straight years from 1966-71 and won the League Cup in England with both Leicester and Stoke.
Banks played 73 times for England, as well as playing in the U.S. for the Cleveland Stokers and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers towards the end of his career.
Below is a look at his finest moment, while plenty of key figures in the game have paid tribute to Banks.
We used to always speak about finishing. His advice to me was to try and catch keepers early – "get the shot away early" he'd say. In 1970 we saw one of the greatest crosses, met by one of the greatest headers and saved by one of the greatest goalkeepers. RIP GB ❤️🙏🏿 Thank you pic.twitter.com/q2PlIJiBmk
Voted “the best right back” in Europe between 1962-64, the former England and Blackpool captain also had a successful management and broadcasting career.
Armfield was a member of the 1962 and 1966 World Cup squads, though a toe injury kept him from his place in the starting lineup when England won the tournament.
He spent his entire playing career with Blackpool before managing Bolton Wanderers to promotion and Leeds United to the European Cup Final, righting the ship after Brian Clough’s infamous spell in charge of the club.
There’s a statue outside Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road, and the club legend has a stand named after him inside the venue.
As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by.
Here is number 6.
PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 6: Geoff Hurst’s ‘goal’ leads England to only World Cup
Referees Gottfried Dienst and linesman Tofik Bakhramov were as big a part of England’s 1966 World Cup victory as anyone to appear in the final, as they controversially allowed Geoff Hurst’s first extra time goal to stand despite the fact that the ball appeared to not cross the goal line.
Hurst had already scored in the 18th minute to level things at 1 with West Germany, and Martin Peters’ 78th minute tally looked to have given England its first World Cup. But Wolfgang Weber equalized in the 89th minute, forcing the final into extra time at Wembley Stadium.
Then came the 101st minute of extra time, as Hurst picked up the ball inside the 18 and hammered a ball off the underside of the cross bar. The ball headed straight down onto the goal line, with at least part of it crossing. After a long talk, the goal was allowed.
Hurst would score later to complete his hat trick and a 4-2 win but the game will always be mired in controversy. Years later, the film was converted to color (below). Ask yourself: what would’ve happened if the goal happened today? And should it have counted?