Gordon Banks dies aged 81: Tributes pour in for England World Cup hero

World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks helping to launch Sheffield bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup
World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks helping to launch Sheffield bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup
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Heartfelt tributes have begun pouring in for England World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks who has died aged 81.

His family announced the sad news that the Sheffield-born footballer had ‘passed away peacefully overnight’. 

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

The Tinsley-born star made 628 appearances during a 15-year career in the Football League and won 73 caps for his country. 

He is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time; making of the game’s best saves to prevent a Pelé goal in the 1970 World Cup. 

However, in a heartfelt tribute, presenter Dan Walker said he was ‘so much more than that’.

He tweeted: “We’ll see a lot of THAT save from Gordon Banks today but there was so much more to him than that. He was funny, humble and a true gentleman. He will be greatly missed.”

Banks was named FWA Footballer of the Year in 1972, and was named FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year on six occasions.

Sheffield United tweeted: “Sheffield United Football Club is saddened to learn of the passing of Gordon Banks OBE. Gordon was one of Sheffield’s greatest sons and was a true legend of English football. May he rest in peace.”

Sheffield-born Harry Maguire tweeted: “A World Cup winner, a legend. RIP Gordon Banks.”

Fomer Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Kevin Pressman tweeted: “So sad to hear that Gordon Banks has passed away. A true legend and gentleman.

“He was my first Goalkeeper Coach when I was a school boy at @swfc when Jack Charlton was manager. I went into the training ground on my 6 weeks holidays to work with him . RIP.”

Banks’ former club Chesterfield FC tweeted: “The sad news reaches us that legendary former Spireite Gordon Banks has passed away. 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.”