Former England goalkeeper Gordon Banks dies aged 81

England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81, his former club Stoke have announced.

The news was revealed in a statement from the Banks family on the club's official website.

It 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.

"We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time."

Banks revealed in 2015 he was fighting kidney cancer for a second time, having lost a kidney to the disease 10 years earlier.

He is survived by his wife Ursula, whom he met during his national service in Germany in 1955, and their three children, Robert, Wendy and Julia.

His status as an all-time great may have been sealed at the 1966 World Cup, but it was the save Gordon Banks produced to deny Pele four years later which became his defining moment on the international stage.

The goalkeeper's spectacular stop in a group-stage clash with Brazil during England's defence of the trophy in Mexico is widely regarded as one of the greatest saves of all time.

Along with a World Cup-winner's medal, Banks' 73-cap CV featured six FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year awards.

He also had notable success at club level, with two League Cup wins, 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.

PA

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