England's World Cup-winning keeper Banks dead at 81

Gordon Banks is regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers to ever have played the game. Credit PA

The 73 capped shot-stopper, who is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world, was named Federation Internationale de Football Association goalkeeper of the year six times.

Former England striker Gary Lineker said: "An absolute hero of mine, and countless others, England's World Cup victor was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man".

Born in Sheffield, he won the League Cup with Stoke and Leicester, before retiring in 1973.

According to BBC Football, the goalkeeper's family issued a public statement on Banks' death.

Gordon Bank's family confirmed this morning the 81-year-old passed away in his sleep.

Former England goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81, it has been announced.

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"We're deeply saddened to hear that Gordon Banks, our World Cup-winning goalkeeper, has passed away", the England national team tweeted.

Former England and Leicester striker, Gary Lineker wrote on social media: "Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died".

"If I could make a save like the one against Pele, while playing against the greatest in the world, then I will be able to battle through this health problem", Banks said then. Greatest English keeper to have ever lived?

He will always be remembered for a remarkable save he made to deny Brazil superstar Pele four years later in Mexico.

"Rest In Peace Gordon and thanks for the memories", another said. He will be greatly missed by the footballing world and all who had the privilege of knowing him.

"Gordon was a fantastic goalkeeper and I was proud to call him a team-mate", former England teammate Bobby Charlton said on the Manchester United Twitter account. "All my thoughts with the family".

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