Gordon Banks dead: Gary Lineker and Raheem Sterling lead tributes to 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper

Known for his time at Stoke, Leicester and Chesterfield, Banks helped the Three Lions to their only World Cup triumph in 1966

Jack Rathborn@JackRathborn
Tuesday 12 February 2019 11:24
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World Cup winner Gordon Banks dies aged 81

Gary Lineker has led the tributes to Gordon Banks, labelling him an “absolute hero” after the former England goalkeeper passed away on Tuesday.

The World Cup-winner started his career at Chesterfield and made a name for himself in the club game at Stoke City and Leicester City.

With 73 caps for the Three Lions, Banks is famous for his spectacular save to deny Pele’s header from close range, falling quickly to keep the ball out low to his right.

Lineker has joined the masses in the football community to pay tribute,

Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died, writing: “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.”

Raheem Sterling also paid his respect, insisting his “legacy will live on.”

The Manchester City winger wrote: "Of course there was THAT save, but its so much more we are mourning today. RIP Gordon Banks. England legend, your legacy will live on. All my thoughts with the family."

Banks left a lasting memory on English football, establishing himself as a legend of the game, with Stoke City announcing the news.

"From the family of Gordon Banks," read a statement.

Banks poses with Pele and Thierry Henry (REUTERS)

“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."

Banks was named Fifa Goalkeeper of the year for five consecutive years between 1966 and 1971, and was voted the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year in 1972.

Banks won the League Cup with Leicester in 1964, before moving to Stoke after the World Cup in 1966, where he would become an icon for the Potters.

A second League Cup with Stoke in 1972 preceded a spell in the United States with the Cleveland Stokers and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

England boss Gareth Southgate wrote a lengthy tribute to one of the icons of the English game.

"I am deeply saddened to hear of Gordon's passing," said Southgate.

"An all-time great for England, I was privileged enough to be in his company on a number of occasions.

"It was particularly special to be with him at a Football Writers' tribute dinner last year and wish him well on his 80th birthday.

"Gordon spoke to the room about that incredible save from Pele against Brazil back in 1970 and moments like that from his remarkable World Cup-winning career will continue to linger long in the memory.

"On behalf of everyone connected with England, I send my condolences to his wife Ursula, his family and friends."

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