England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died aged 81.

Banks made a total of 73 appearances for England during his career, including every game of the victorious World Cup campaign.

However, the save he produced to deny Pele four years later, during a group stage clash with Brazil, marked his defining moment on the international stage – and is still widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time.

In a statement, released by Banks’ former club Stoke City, his family 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.”

Locals have left flowers at the statue of Gordon Banks, the footballer who died today at the age of 81.

Peter Shilton, who followed Banks as England number one, tweeted: “I’m devastated – today I’ve lost my hero our condolences to his family rip Gordon.”

Presenter and former England striker Gary 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.”

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:: Tributes paid to England 1966 World Cup legend Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks was part of the World Cup winning team in 1966
Image: The former Leicester, Stoke and Chesterfield man is widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest keepers

England manager Gareth Southgate said on the Football Association website: “I am deeply saddened to hear of Gordon’s passing.

“An all-time great for England, I was privileged enough to be in his company on a number of occasions.

“On behalf of everyone connected with England, I send my condolences to his wife Ursula, his family and friends.”

Sir Bobby Charlton released a statement, saying: “I was proud to call him a team-mate. 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.

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

Stoke City's Gordon Banks Gordon Banks 1970/71 season
Image: Banks during his time with Leicester City

England and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling tweeted: “Of course there was THAT save, but its so much more we are mourning today. RIP Gordon Banks. @England legend, your legacy will live on. All my thoughts with the family.”

Along with a World Cup winner’s medal, Banks also picked up six FIFA goalkeeper of the year awards.

At club level he managed two League Cup wins – the first with Leicester in 1964 and Stoke in 1972.

Banks lost the sight in his right eye after being injured in a road accident in 1972 and retired at the age of 34 as a result.

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