England’s legend Gordon Banks dies, aged 81

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 01: Draw assistant, Gordon Banks draws A4 during the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia at the State Kremlin Palace on December 1, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died, aged 81.

Banks a former Leicester City and Stoke City player was part of the Alf Ramsey’s team that claimed glory on home soil for the Three Lions in 1966.

Widely known as one of the best goalkeepers in the history of the game, Banks produced one of the World Cup’s most iconic moments four years later by pulling off an astonishing reaction save to keep out a header from Brazil great Pele in Mexico City.

Banks helped Stoke to the League Cup in 1972, the club’s only major honour and one he won with Leicester eight years earlier, before a car accident in October of that year cost him the sight in his right eye.

STOKE, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Former England football player Sir Geoff Hurst attends the funeral of 1966 World Cup and former Stoke City Goalkeeper Gordon Banks on March 04, 2019 in Stoke, England. Gordon Banks, considered one of the finest goalkeepers of all time, had a career in football spanning 20 years and 73 caps for England. He started every game of England's successful 1966 World Cup title bid. His greatest save came in the 1970 World Cup against Brazil when he stopped a downward header from Pele. He played club football for Leicester and then Stoke City from where he retired. Today fellow 1966 World Cup footballer Geoff Hurst paid tribute to him during a service at Stoke Minster. (Photo by Darren Staples/Getty Images)

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The former England national team footballer lifted the trophy with the Three Lions in the 1966 edition at home.

A statement from Banks’ family, published on Stoke’s website, 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.”