England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81
Banks, who revealed in 2016 that he was battling kidney cancer for the second time, died peacefully overnight.
A statement issued by former club Stoke on the Banks family’s behalf 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.”
The former Chesterfield, Leicester and Stoke keeper won 73 international caps.
Banks 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, although he later returned briefly to the sport in America.
But it was on the international stage that he established himself as a star, making his England debut in a 2-1 defeat by Scotland at Wembley in April 1963 and going on to win 73 senior caps, most famously in the 4-2 World Cup final victory over West Germany in 1966.
However, he will probably be best remembered for his heroics in Mexico four years later when he made the logic-defying save which was to define his career when he somehow managed to turn Brazil star Pele’s header over the crossbar.