Gordon Banks is Dead
Gordon Banks was not only one of the greatest footballers in England, in his time he was probably the best goalkeeper in the world. Superstar Pelé knows that too: about a legendary keeper and his parade.
England and its goalies - if you can not think of English football anymore, then you can still scoff at the goalkeepers, their stupidities and mishaps, the internet is full of them. In truth, football on the island has always had a lot of solid keeper, some very good goalkeepers, a few outstanding ones like Peter Shilton and one who stood above them all: Gordon Banks. The Banks of England.
As so often in a footballing experience, it's a special game, sometimes just a very special scene that will be remembered for ever, a game in which your career culminates, a moment you know, eternally associated with the name , Gordon Banks had this moment.
It was June 7, 1970 in Guadalajara, Mexico. England had come to the World Cup as defending champion, four years earlier the Three Lions had triumphed in Wembley, Banks was their world champion goalkeeper, for many he was the best in the world between the posts in those years.
8 picturesEngland's former keeper Gordon Banks: The backing
On that 7th of June, it was up to the English to prove what this world title was worth. On the other hand, Brazil, the team around Pelé, was waiting, and in the tenth minute, the best striker and the best goalkeeper in the world met each other.
Pelé's attacking colleague Jairzinho had drawn a precise cross into the penalty area from the right, Pelé rose, skipping over his opponent Tommy Wright, hit the ball optimally with his head and aimed him towards the lower right corner.
Later it was said that Brazil's superstar had already called loud "goal", but somehow Banks still reached the ball. He was cornered, his hand still on the ball and carrying him around the post. That Brazil won the game 1-0, many have forgotten. The parade of Banks not. Pelé said it was the greatest rescue act of a goalkeeper he had experienced during his active time. Anyone searching under the keyword "the greatest Save on Earth" will find it at Gordon Banks.
Geoff Hurst brought to despair
In his 19 professional years between 1959 and 1978 Banks has done many heroic deeds. In 1972, he had led his club Stoke City in the league final. His national teammate, the famous Geoff Hurst, he brought in the semi-final game to despair. Not even a penalty missed the West Ham legend, Banks deflected the penalty over the goal, Stoke moved into the final and won there against Chelsea.
This year, Banks was also Footballer of the Year in England, at 34, he still seemed at the height of his creative power, the best Banks ever. Until he crashed on October 22 of that year with his car. In the accident, his right optic nerve was injured, from one moment to the next it was over with the great career. Banks continued to play for a few more years, ending the US career, as so many aging stars did back then, but Banks was never able to play at the top.
Leicester City and Stoke City - these were his two clubs. He held for Leicester for eight years, becoming a national player and world champion there until he was ousted by a 16-year-old ambitious young goalkeeper: Peter Shilton. Banks escaped more or less to Stoke, was also there a club icon, also remained there national goalkeeper until his rival Shilton was ready to replace him again. At Stoke and in the national team.
In England, Banks experienced the biggest triumph of his career with coach Sir Alf Ramsey defeating Germany in front of their own home crowd in 1966. Four years later and only one week after his biggest save against Pelé, he had to face one of his bitterest goalkeeping days. Instead of shining in the World Cup quarter-final against Germany, he had to stand idly in front of the TV with an upset stomach, as Uwe Seelers back of the head and Gerd Muller's instinct destined destroyed the dream of defending the title. Also because his representative Peter Bonetti had a tough Kullerball by Franz Beckenbauer happen and the previously 0: 2 past DFB team thereby brought into play.
Gordon Banks and Germany - that was a special relationship even before Wembley. Banks had served as a young man in the British Rhine Army, was stationed in Lower Saxony, here he met his wife, he played football with Viktoria Königslutter, never again this club would have had such a prominent footballer in his rounds. When the club celebrated its 100th anniversary, Banks was named an honorary member.
With English athletes one is very fast with the label "Gentleman" at hand. But what should one do if there is no better expression? At the age of 81, the gentleman Gordon Banks died on Tuesday.
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