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Gordon Banks dead: How did England World Cup hero die? Cause of death explained | Football | Sport


Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81 (Image: GETTY)

Banks’ death was announced by his former club early on Tuesday morning.

The cause of Banks’ death is currently unknown, though he is said to have ‘passed away peacefully.’

“It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight,” a family statement read.

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

Last year, it was rumoured that the former man had passed away following a bout of cancer.

But that claim was emphatically dismissed by his family members on social media, who labelled it a cruel ‘hoax’. 

A slew of tributes for the England legend began to pour in online shortly after his death was announced, with his old club Chesterfield kicking things off.

“The sad news reaches us that legendary former Spireite Gordon Banks has passed away,” the Conference Premier side tweeted.

Gordon Banks Dead

Gordon Banks passed away on Monday night (Image: GETTY)

It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight,

A statement from Gordon Banks’ family

“Gordon, who started his career at Chesterfield, was of course part of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team.

“Our thoughts are with Gordon’s family and friends.”

Leicester City, for whom Banks made 293 league appearances for, then tweeted: “Leicester City Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the death of our former goalkeeper Gordon Banks OBE, who has passed away at the age of 81.”

England’s official Twitter account wrote: “We’re deeply saddened to hear that Gordon Banks, our #WorldCup-winning goalkeeper, has passed away.

Gordon Banks Dead

Gordon Banks won the World Cup with England in 1966 (Image: GETTY)

“Our thoughts are with Gordon’s friends, family and supporters at this difficult time.”

England manager Gareth Southgate was shocked by the passing of Banks, saying: “I am deeply saddened to hear of Gordon’s passing.

“An all-time great for England, I was privileged enough to be in his company on a number of occasions.

“It was particularly special to be with him at a Football Writers’ tribute dinner last year and wish him well on his 80th birthday.

Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks was part of the England team that won the World Cup in 1966 (Image: GETTY)

“Gordon spoke to the room about that incredible save from Pele against Brazil back in 1970 and moments like that from his remarkable World Cup-winning career will continue to linger long in the memory.

“On behalf of everyone connected with England, I send my condolences to his wife Ursula, his family and friends.”

Banks’ former England team-mate and successor between the sticks Peter Shilton was devastated with the news, tweeting: “I’m devastated – today I’ve lost my hero our condolences to his family rip Gordon.”

Ex-England striker Michael Owen said: “Sad to hear that Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81.

Gordon Banks Dead

Gordon Banks’ legendary save from Pele in the 1970 World Cup (Image: GETTY)

“Had the pleasure of meeting him a number of times and he was one of the game’s true gentlemen, not to mention one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. Rest In Peace.”

Banks began his career with Chesterfield in 1958 before joining Leicester City the following year.

He spent eight years with the Foxes before joining Stoke, who he made 250 appearances for.

After seven years with the Potters, he moved to America to play for  Cleveland Stokers and Fort Lauderdale Strikers before ending his career with St Patrick’s Athletic.

Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks’ passing has rocked the world of English football (Image: GETTY)

Banks won the World Cup England in 1966, but the most famous moment of his career came in the 1970 World Cup when he saved a towering header from Pele.

The image of Banks flying through the air to stop the goal-bound effort is still to this day one of the greatest moments in World Cup history.

Nearly 40 years on, former Arsenal and Scotland stopper Bob Wilson is still amazed by the save, telling BBC Radio 5Live. “He showed amazing agility.

“I don’t think I will ever see a better save in my life.”

Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks died on Monday night (Image: GETTY)

In Wilson’s eyes, and the eyes of many others, Banks will go down as the greatest England goalkeeper of all time.

“He will go down [as the best], until England win the World Cup again, if they ever do. He will go down as the greatest England goalkeeper.

“I mean the irony is at this height now he would struggle in the modern game. As indeed I would. I was 6’1, Banksy was below 6 foot.

“I’m heartbroken, really. I was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire to very Scottish parents as you know, Mickey. And I used to stand behind his goal as a kid.

Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks during a World Cup training session in 1970 (Image: GETTY)

“I’m only two or three years younger [than him].

“I stood behind his goal and then when it was half-time and he would move up the other end to Salty Gate I would move around and watch him play again.”

It was my privilege to eventually play against him in semi-finals of FA Cup and get to know him. I didn’t get to know him well. This is just sad news.

“And here is another of the ’66 World Cup boys who is no longer with us.”

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