Sheffield-born former Chesterfield star and World Cup winner Gordon Banks to be awarded freedom of the city – of Stoke-on-Trent

Gordon Banks in action for England.
Gordon Banks in action for England.
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Sheffield-born World Cup-winning footballer Gordon Banks is to be awarded the freedom of the city – of Stoke-on-Trent.

Members of Stoke-on-Trent Council this week backed a motion to confer the honour on the former Stoke City goalkeeper – who has settled in a small village just outside the city since his retirement from football.

Fathers Day race meeting at Doncaster Racecourse.  Gordon Banks.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Fathers Day race meeting at Doncaster Racecourse. Gordon Banks. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Coun Adrian Knapper described him as one of the ‘greatest footballing heroes this country has ever known’ who had adopted Stoke-on-Trent as his home.

Gordon was born at a house on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield in 1937 and grew up in Tinsley, attending Tinsley Secondary Modern School.

He played for Sheffield Schoolboys, Millspaugh Steelworks and Rawmarsh Welfare, before signing for Chesterfield at the age of 15.

The 76-year-old went on to play for Leicester City and Stoke City, as well as starring for England when they won the 1966 World Cup.

In Sheffield, he was among the first group of inductees in the city’s Walk of Fame when a plaque bearing his name was laid in the pavement outside Sheffield Town Hall in 2006.

However, he has not been awarded the freedom of the Steel City, despite the honour being bestowed on a number of sportsmen and women in recent years, including former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, London 2012 Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill and double 1,500m Olympic champion Lord Sebastian Coe.