Gordon Banks : Save of the Century

Gordon Banks, OBE (born 30 December 1937) is a retired English footballer, elected in a poll by the IFFHS as the second best goalkeeper of the 20th Century — after Lev Yashin (1st) and before Dino Zoff (3rd).

Gordon Banks 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.

His consistent performances in goal led to the re-wording of a common English idiom used in everyday speech to "Safe as the Banks of England." [source : Gordon Banks]

Gordon Banks' Pictures

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