Tributes to 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper and ‘true gentleman’ Gordon Banks

Former England Goalkeeper Gordon Banks is regarded as one of the game's greatest and is perhaps best known for his wonder save from Pele during the 1970 World Cup against Brazil.
Former England Goalkeeper Gordon Banks is regarded as one of the game's greatest and is perhaps best known for his wonder save from Pele during the 1970 World Cup against Brazil.

England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks left a crowd “star struck” during what is thought to have been his final public appearance only months ago.

It was announced on Tuesday morning that the Sheffield-born stopper, who earned 73 caps for his country, has died aged 81.

And in November Sheridann Dickerson, managing director of Wakefield-based SJD Sports, organised an appearance of Mr Banks at Deeva Restaurant in Farsley. Mr Dickerson said: “I’m absolutely heartbroken about Gordon’s passing, he was a footballing icon but more importantly he was a true gentleman who would spare his time for anybody.

“He was an absolute pleasure to work with and it was also an incredible honour for myself to host his last ever public event.”

Although that detail is not officially confirmed, Mr Dickerson said that a source close to Mr Banks told him at the time that it would be last public event, in part due to declining health.

Mr Dickerson added: “My thoughts go out to his family and friends at this unfortunate time.

“The audience at Deeva in November were star struck and blown away by his incredible stories and once again it was an honour for me to provide the people of Yorkshire with one more chance to meet one of the remaining living legends of our beautiful game.”

Mr Banks may have been best-known for his stunning acrobatic save from a Pele header during the 1970 World Cup against Brazil. He revealed in 2016 that he was battling kidney cancer for the second time. Mr Banks died peacefully in the night.