Sheffield legend and England World Cup hero Gordon Banks dies aged 81

Gordon Banks is regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers to ever have played the game. Credit PA

'We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him'.

Banks' legacy as England's greatest goalkeeper was secured in 1966 but he is best remembered for an incredible save from Pele in Mexico four years later.

He made 73 caps for England while during his club career, he won the League Cup with Stoke and Leicester.

However, the former England stopper could have carried on for longer if not for a vehicle crash in 1972, forcing him to give up the game he loved.

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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England manager Gareth Southgate said: "I am deeply saddened to hear of Gordon's passing".

Former Leicester and Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright added: 'A true legend in every sense of the word, a gentleman and outstanding goalkeeper, RIP our 1966 World Cup winning goalie.

Former England goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81, his family said on Tuesday.

Stoke City and England goalkeeper Gordon Banks looks on during a game circa 1967.

Banks made 510 league appearances for Chesterfield, Leicester and Stoke and won 73 senior worldwide caps.

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He also enjoyed a brief spell managing Telford United, before leaving in 1980. "All my thoughts with the family".

"We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time". Obviously we shared that great day in 1966 but it was more than that. One of the very greatest.

Fellow ex-England worldwide Ray Parlour, meanwhile, hailed his save against Pele as the "best ever": 'More sad news in the football world.

A spokesperson for Chesterfield FC, where Banks began his career in the 1950s, said: "The sad news reaches us that legendary former Spireite Gordon Banks has passed away".

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