Pele leads tributes to England and Foxes legend Gordon Banks

England and Leicester City legend, Gordon Banks, has passed away at the age of 81.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Banks was instrumental in England’s World Cup win against Brazil in 1966.

At club level he managed two League Cup wins, the first with Leicester in 1964 and in 1972 for Stoke.

Pele has led tributes to the World Cup hero, describing him as a “goalkeeper with magic” and a “fine human being”.


Despite playing in every game during England’s glorious 1966 World Cup triumph, it was a save four years later from a Pele header that catapulted Banks to global stardom.

Sir Bobby Charlton, who played alongside Banks in 1966, echoed Pele’s words.

He said: “I was proud to call him a teammate. Obviously we shared that great day in 1966 but it was more than that. Even though I was on the pitch and have seen it many times since, I still don’t know how he saved that header from Pele.”

“Gordon will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”

Banks retired at the age of 34, after losing sight in his right eye after being injured in a road accident in 1972.

The former Leicester and Stoke City star died peacefully overnight. In 2016, Banks revealed he was battling kidney cancer for a second time.

A statement from his family 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.”