Gordon Banks started his career at Chesterfield, before joining Leicester in 1959 for £7,000, and it was at the Foxes that he established himself as England’s number one, earning his first international cap in 1963 against Scotland. He played in every game of the 1966 World Cup campaign, culminating in the 4-2 victory over West Germany in the final at Wembley. In eight years at Leicester, he was runner-up in two FA Cup finals and won the League Cup in 1964, before joining Stoke in 1967. He stayed at the Potters until his retirement from professional football, winning the League Cup again in 1972, the club’s only major honour.
Later that year he lost the sight in his right eye after a car crash. Principle English Clubs: Chesterfield, Leicester City, Stoke City. Caps: 73. Honours: 1 World Cup, 2 League Cups. Inducted: 2002.
Gordon Banks Full Biography and Profile
Gordon Banks born 12 February 2019, was one of the greatest goalkeepers of his or any other generation and he will forever be remembered for his heroic part in England’s triumphant 1966 World Cup campaign that culminated in the famous 4-2 victory over West Germany at Wembley in the final.
Four years later, he was still England’s number one as they headed to Mexico to defend their World Cup crown and produced the competition’s most iconic moment when he spectacularly kept out Pele’s header in the clash with Brazil in Guadalajara, a breathtaking effort which became known as the ‘Save of the Century’.
Capped 73 times by his country, he finally hung up his gloves in 1972 at the age of 34 and is universally acknowledged as the first of what was to become a golden era of English goalkeepers.
Banks also enjoyed a glittering club career that spanned three different decades, playing for Leicester City for eight years before spending five seasons with Stoke, and was named the Football Writers’ Player of the Year in 1972 but it was in England colours that he earned his place in football folklore.
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Banks ‘set standard’ for others to follow
Banks, who won the League Cup with Leicester and Stoke, paved the way for a rich heritage in English goalkeeping.
After he retired in 1973, Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence shared England goalkeeping duties, which Clemence says “helped” them maintain high standards.
Former Leicester, Nottingham Forest and Derby keeper Shilton told the BBC: “I was devastated, because I didn’t realise how bad it was. He was my hero when I was a youngster growing up in Leicester. I followed his career and me being a Leicester lad, I had a chance to meet him.
“For about a year I used to train with him once a week, I had the opportunity to learn how he had this great positional sense and how hard he worked at his game. He was one of the greatest of all time, he was a World Cup winner and made that fantastic save from Pele which made him famous worldwide.”
Ex-Liverpool player Clemence added: “He was a mentor for me and he made it look easy when everybody who has played in that position knows it’s not. He was a special man and everybody in football is so sad to hear he is leaving us.