Gordon Banks | Man Credited With Greatest Ever Football Save Dies At 81

Former Stoke and Leicester goalkeeper, Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81. This was confirmed by his family who said that the English goalie had died peacefully in his sleep.

Gordon Banks’ is undoubtedly the greatest English goalkeeper of all time having stayed in between the sticks for the Three Lions in the 1966 World Cup, the first and only World Cup to be won by the Three Lions.

However, it is his save from a Pele header in Mexico four years later that he will be mostly remembered for. The best footballer to have ever graced the planet headed a ball towards the bottom corner of the goal.

However, Banks in an indescribable manner that somewhat defies the Law of Physics not only saved the ball with a flailing right arm but also pushed the ball well over the bar. It was unexpected. Infact, Pele had raised his hands in celebration shouting goal already only to see that his header had been saved.

Gordon Banks saves a penalty from Brazilian Legend, Pele. Photocredit: Eveningstandard

The Brazilian was so miffed by the save that it became a talking point up until now. Pele on the save said: “I have scored more than a thousand goals in my life and the thing people always talk to me about is the one I didn’t score”

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It remains saddening for the footballing world to see one of its greatest legends pass away. Gordon Banks’ was so brilliant he was named the greatest goalkeeper of the 20th century just behind Lev Yashin of the old USSR.

His family in a statement to the general public 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. We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time.”


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