England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81.
Banks, regarded as one of the greatest ‘keepers in the history of the game, played every minute of England’s triumphant campaign under Sir Alf Ramsey, including the 4-2 win over West Germany in the final at Wembley.
He would go on to earn a total of 73 caps for the Three Lions stretching from 1963 to 1972.
‘It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight,’ Banks’ family said.
‘We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.’
Banks is perhaps best remembered for an acrobatic save to deny Pele at the 1970 World Cup.
The save has since gone down in folklore and is regarded as one of the most iconic moments in the history of the national side.
It was at Leicester that Banks established himself as England’s first-choice goalkeeper and he won the 1964 League Cup with the Foxes before joining Stoke.
Banks went on to lift the 1972 League Cup with Stoke, the club’s only major honour to date, but a road accident in 1972 forced him to retire at the age of 34.
Tributes flooded in for Banks following the announcement, with the likes of Gary Lineker and Sir Geoff Hurst and sharing heartfelt messages.
Lineker tweeted: ‘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.’
Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in the 1966 final, posted: ‘Very sad to hear the news that Gordon has died. One of the very greatest.
‘Thinking especially of Ursula, Julia, Wendy and Robert.
‘Sad for football, Stoke City and for England fans. Will be very sadly missed.’