ENGLISH FOOTBALL MOURNS AGAIN
ENGLAND’S STAR GOALKEEPER GORDON BANKS OF THE 1966 WORLD CUP DIES AT 81
English football is in mourning mood once again following the death of famous goalkeeper and savior of the 1966 successful World Cup victory final against West Germany, Gordon Banks, who is reported to have passed on at the age of 81. This follows the recent plane crash which killed Argentinian striker Sala who was to start playing for Cadiff City in England after signing from Nantes in France.
Banks was famous for his “save of the century” against Brazil’s Pele in the 1970 world cup. During the Wembley Final in 1966, Gordon Banks played every game of the World Cup finishing with a 4-2 victory over West Germany. Between1963-1972, Banks won 73 caps playing for England and made over 200 appearances for his team Stoke City, in the English midlands.
His professional career began with Chesterfield in 1958 before he moved to Leicester City a year later. He won his first England cap in 1963, four years before he joined Stoke City. He lost an eye in a car crash in 1972, which put an end to his career.
Five years later, however, Banks made a surprise comeback, signing on with Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League (NASL), which at the time also featured a number of international stars, including Pele and West Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, both of whom were playing with the New York Cosmos.
Despite having sight only in one eye, the then-40-year-old Banks was named NASL Goalkeeper of the Year in 1977 after conceding only 29 goals in 26 matches, which was the best defensive record in a league in which there were a number of rule changes to encourage offense. Banks retired for good after playing 11 games for Fort Lauderdale the following season.