England’s 1966 World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks dies aged 81

England’s 1966 World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died aged 81, his family says.

In a statement, released by Banks’ former club Stoke City, his family 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.”

Presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: “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”.

Banks made a total of 73 appearances for England during his career, including every game of the victorious 1966 World Cup campaign.

However, the save he produced to deny Pele four years later, during a group stage clash with Brazil, marked his defining moment on the international stage – and is still widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time.

Gordon Banks makes a remarkable save from a header by Pele of Brazil during their first round match in the World Cup at Guadalajara, Mexico, June 1970

Along with a World Cup-winner’s medal, Banks also picked up six Fifa Goalkeeper of the Year awards.

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And at club level he managed two League Cup wins – the first with Leicester in 1964 and Stoke in 1972.

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