Winning England goalkeeper Gordon Banks dies at 81

Gordon Banks is regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers to ever have played the game. Credit PA

Winning England goalkeeper Gordon Banks dies at 81

Despite the 1966 win, he will always be remembered for the remarkable save he made to deny Brazil superstar Pele four years later in Mexico.

England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks sadly passed away on Tuesday morning: a true legend of the game.

The Brazilian legend has now paid tribute to Banks, and revealed their long friendship all started with that iconic sporting moment. "The ball actually hit the top of my hand and looked as though it was going into the top of the net".

Discussing the individual qualities which have seen Banks go down as one of the best goalkeepers in football history, the Birch added: "For me, at the time I played, he was the world's greatest goalkeeper".

England captain and World Cup Golden Boot victor Harry Kane tweeted: 'Very sad to hear the news of Gordon Banks passing away. I hit that header exactly as I had hoped.

Charlton, the driving force in the '66 team, led the praise, saying "I was proud to call him a team-mate".

Banks is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all-time and was named Federation Internationale de Football Association goalkeeper of the year six times, having earned 73 caps for England.

Former England internationals Banks and winger Alan A'Court guested in the opening match, which saw Boro draw 0-0 at home to Monza in front of over 3,000 fans.

"Even though they never knighted him, he was always a Sir to us, and he always will be", said Glen Rushton, 67, leaving a wreath at the statue.

England's 1966 World Cup hero Geoff Hurst said: "Very sad to hear the news that Gordon has died".

Tributes: "I have great sadness in my heart today and I send condolences to the family Gordon was so proud of. Rest In Peace Gordon and thanks for the memories", another said.

Thanks for the memories, Gordon.

He also made 510 league appearances for Chesterfield, Leicester - with whom he won the League Cup in 1964 - and Stoke before retiring from the professional game at the age of 34 following a road accident which cost him the sight in his right eye.

But the 1966 World Cup victor would always share a joke with his old friend over his part in Pele's unique World Cup story.

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