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.
Banks family revealed the news in a statement on Stoke City’s website. It read:
“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.”
Born in Sheffield, Banks started his career at Chesterfield, before joining Leicester in 1959 for £7,000, and it was at the Foxes that he established himself as England’s number one, earning his first international cap in 1963 against Scotland.
He played in every game of the 1966 World Cup campaign, culminating in the 4-2 victory over West Germany in the final at Wembley.
In eight years at Leicester, he was runner-up in two FA Cup finals and won the League Cup in 1964, before joining Stoke in 1967.
He stayed at the Potters until his retirement from professional football, winning the League Cup again in 1972, the club’s only major honour.
He will also be remembered for making a remarkable save to deny Brazil striker Pele at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
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.