Gordon Banks, a six-time FIFA World Player of the Year nominee, played seventy-three times for his country and was part of the 1966 World Cup team after beating Portugal in the semi-final (2-1) and Germany in the final at Wembley (4-2, after extra time).
The penalty that Eusebio put past Banksy in the semi-final was the first goal he had conceded in the tournament.
In the 1970 World Cup finals against Brazil, Gordon Banks was responsible for what is often cited as “the greatest save ever made” – a supremely agile effort from a close-range header by Pelé who was always slightly miffed, in an amused way, that Banks’s save remained such a talking point for so many years afterwards.
“I have scored more than a thousand goals in my life and the thing people always talk to me about is the one I did not score,” he said. The two great men became firm friends and 78 year-old Pelé went on to add, “That act was the start of a friendship between us that I will always treasure. Whenever we met, it was always like we had never been apart.” Three-time World Cup winner Pele said on social media: “I have great sadness in my heart today and I send condolences to the family he was so proud of. Rest in peace, my friend. Yes, you were a goalkeeper with magic. But you were also so much more, you were a fine human being.”