England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks dies after losing long battle with cancer

World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81. 

The former Stoke and Leicester City goalkeeper was part of the famous England side who lifted the World Cup in 1966. 

Banks passed away with family at his side after his health deteriorated significantly in recent weeks and he leaves behind wife Ursula and their three children Julia, Robert and Wendy.

He endured battles with cancer for many years and in recent months had been undergoing gruelling spells of chemotherapy.

Legendary England 1966 World Cup winner Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81

Legendary England 1966 World Cup winner Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81

Legendary England 1966 World Cup winner Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81

Banks is seen as the finest England goalkeeper ever as he played a key role in the 1966 success

Banks is seen as the finest England goalkeeper ever as he played a key role in the 1966 success

Banks is seen as the finest England goalkeeper ever as he played a key role in the 1966 success

Pictured with wife Ursula in 2016, Banks lost battle with cancer after battling in recent years

Pictured with wife Ursula in 2016, Banks lost battle with cancer after battling in recent years

Pictured with wife Ursula in 2016, Banks lost battle with cancer after battling in recent years

Many of his old Stoke team-mates had been visiting him at his home in Madeley in the hope of inspiring one more recovery, but to no avail this time.

Stoke confirmed the news on Tuesday morning writing: ‘From the family of Gordon Banks. 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.’

Banks watches on during a game in 1967. He played for Chesterfield, Leicester City, Stoke City and Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Banks watches on during a game in 1967. He played for Chesterfield, Leicester City, Stoke City and Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Banks watches on during a game in 1967. He played for Chesterfield, Leicester City, Stoke City and Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Banks is regarded as the finest goalkeeper England have ever had as he became a cornerstone of England’s most successful period.

Four years after lifting the World Cup his worldwide fame rocketed again thanks to his so-called ‘save of the century’ to deny Pele and Brazil in the 1970 finals. 

Banks rose through the ranks in his early years playing for Chesterfield and Leicester before joining Stoke in 1967 and he quickly became a key figure in the Potters side. 

Banks holds onto the ball during the 1966 World Cup Final. England beat West Germany 4-2 at Wembley to lift the trophy

Banks holds onto the ball during the 1966 World Cup Final. England beat West Germany 4-2 at Wembley to lift the trophy

Banks holds onto the ball during the 1966 World Cup Final. England beat West Germany 4-2 at Wembley to lift the trophy

He won the League Cup with Stoke in 1972 but later that year saw his career cut short after a car accident left him blind in one eye.

Tributes soon flooded in when the news broke on Tuesday with former England striker Gary Lineker hailing Banks as his ‘hero’.

Lineker wrote: ‘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’.

Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling added: ‘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.’

Banks at home with his wife Ursula. They met when he was on national service in Germany in 1955, and would have three sons

Banks at home with his wife Ursula. They met when he was on national service in Germany in 1955, and would have three sons

Banks at home with his wife Ursula. They met when he was on national service in Germany in 1955, and would have three sons

More to follow.  

 

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