A tribute to Banksy
Stoke City legend Gordon Banks is probably the greatest goalkeeper ever. Find out here about his achievements, his biography, the commemoration statue, his links with Pele - and have your say too!
Banksy will be forever remembered for that save from Pele in 1970, but his achievements were much more than that.
But for the Stoke City hero, it wasn't always like this. His early amateur football didn't suggest his day job was going to change any time soon - he was sacked from his second club after conceding fifteen goals in two games!
But only a few years later, Banks was England's first-choice keeper, winning the World Cup in 1966 and making the 'Save of the Century' against Pele in 1970.
It was all cut brutally short. Returning home from the training ground in 1972, his car crashed into a van and he lost his right eye.
Pele comes to dinner
A mark of how much he is respected in the game are the celebrations on July 12th, 2008.
The statue, which, will be the only statue of a goal keeper that has ever been erected in the United Kingdom, is the centre of attention though.
An honourable career
The celebrations do pay tribute to a great career though. Gordon played 510 league matches in total (including 194 appearances for Stoke) and made 73 appearances for England.
Sadly, like his predecessor at Stoke, Stanley Matthews, he never won the number of honours his talent and ability deserved.
In 2002 he became honorary president of Stoke City following the death of another soccer legend, Sir Stanley Matthews.
Gordon Banks was a sporting idol for people around the world. He was revered and respected everywhere he went.
For author Don Mullan, who has written the biography of Gordon Banks, hope and inspiration came from what seemed to be a most unlikely source. It all happened during his childhood, set against the troubles of Northern Ireland...
Down the years, Radio Stoke has been present at many of Gordon's games, including the 1972 League Cup, and BBC Radio Stoke commentator Nigel Johnson insists that the signing of Gordon Banks was fantastic business for the club.
But Nigel's story describes how Stoke City very nearly missed out on Banksy's signature...!
HAVE YOUR SAY
Okay, we've heard a lot about Banks from his peers - but what do you think? Leave a comment on our board - and while you're there, why not congratulate a great player on having had a statue put up to himself?
last updated: 23/12/2009 at 09:40
Have Your Say
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