Born on 30th of December 1937
(full name and title: Gordon Banks, OBE)
Born: December 30, 1937
Gordon Banks was considered the best goalkeeper in the world during his playing career, and despite the cruel truncation of his career, is still considered the best ever by many fans.
Banks started as a part-timer at Chesterfield in 1955, before moving on to Leicester City in 1959 for the princely sum of £7000. It was at Leicester that his career really took off.
He reached the FA Cup Final with Leicester in 1961 and again in 1963, only to lose on each occasion. In 1964 he picked up his first cup winner's medal when Leicester won the League Cup. They reached the League Cup final again in 1965, but finished runners up.
In 1966 came the crowning glory of Gordon Banks' career. He was England's number one goalkeeper and joined them in their challenge for the World Cup, which was being played on home soil. In the lead up to the final, Banks conceded just one goal. Despite letting in another two in the final, England emerged as 4-2 victors and Banks joined the ranks of English sporting legends, together with the rest of the victorious England team.
England attempted to repeat this feat in Mexico in 1970, again with Banks in the squad. He pulled off one of the most famous saves of all time from the Brazilian football legend Pele. However, he was unable to prevent England from losing 1-0 to the masterful Brazil side.
England still made the Quarter Finals but Banks was ill leading up to the game against West Germany and manager Alf Ramsey felt unable to risk him. After leading 2-0 at half time, England finally went down 3-2.
In between the World Cups, Banks had been somewhat bizarrely transferred by Leicester City, only a year after the 1966 final. The signing of Peter Shilton led to his transfer, with Shilton apparently insisting that he would not sign the contract if he was not guaranteed first team football. Banks career at Stoke City was cruelly ended after a car accident in 1972 left him blinded in one eye. Oddly enough, the man bought in as his long term replacement at Stoke City was none other than Peter Shilton.
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