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

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

England World Cup Winner Gordon Banks Has Died

The football world has been paying tribute to Banks, who won the 1966 World Cup and made a stunning save to deny Pele at the 1970 tournament.

Gordon Banks, England's 1966 World Cup winning goalkeeper, has died at the age of 81.

Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81.

"I had the privilege of becoming good friends with him over the years because we are from the same era and he was an opponent of mine on many occasions".

"Gordon will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time".

The iconic moment came in a group game in Guadalajara, Mexico, when Banks flung himself to his right and somehow managed with one hand to not only keep Pele's powerful, downward header out, but flick the ball over the bar.

"So I am glad he saved my header - because that act was the start of a friendship between us that I will always treasure".

While fans were also taking to social media to pay tribute to the England legend.

The news was announced in a statement from the Banks family on his former club Stoke City's official website.

The game, however, will always be remembered for a save widely acclaimed as the greatest in World Cup history.

And both the final triumph and Banks' individual heroics against Brazil were referenced by many fellow sporting icons as they reflected on his life on Tuesday, with Charlton still unable to comprehend the Pele save.

England manager Gareth Southgate added in a statement: "I am deeply saddened to hear of Gordon's passing".

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

Rest in peace, Gordon Banks.

England's present number one Everton's Jordan Pickford - who was a pivotal figure at last year's World Cup, especially in the penalty shootout win over Colombia - tweeted the save from Pele.

Arguably one of the greatest shot-stoppers of his generation, Gordon Banks amassed 73 caps for the England national team in an worldwide career which spanned close to a decade. "RIP Gordon Banks", tweeted Pickford.

His family said Banks, who lost an eye in a auto crash in 1972, had passed away in his sleep.

"If I could make a save like the one against Pele, while playing against the greatest in the world, then I will be able to battle through this health problem, " Banks said then.

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