Gordon Banks, England’s most storied goalkeeper and winner of the 1966 World Cup, has died at age 81. One of the best goalkeepers in the history of the sport, Banks was named FIFA goalkeeper of the year on six separate occasions and was remembered by many for producing one of the world’s greatest saves against Pele in the 1970 World Cup .
“Gordon was a fantastic goalkeeper, without doubt one of the best England has ever had,” England captain at the 1996 World Cup Sir Bobby Charlton said, according to BBC.
“I was proud to call him a teammate. Obviously we shared that great day in 1966 but it was more than that.
“Even though I was on the pitch and have seen it many times since, I still don’t know how he saved that header from Pele.”
On June 7, 1970 at the World Cup, England, the reigning champs, fell 1-0 to Brazil in the group stage in a tournament the South American side went on to win. In that game, Banks produced one of the most iconic saves in the history of the sport, making an unbelievable diving stop on Pele:
Banks spent most of his club career with Leicester City and Stoke City, and he even played in the United States with the Cleveland Stokers in 1967 and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers from 1977-78.
Clubs, national teams and players took to social media on Tuesday to express their condolences and show gratitude towards a legend: