Gordon Banks talk inspired Stoke City - Tony Pulis

Gordon Banks
Banks was part of the England team that won the World Cup in 1966

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis said a team talk from World Cup winner Gordon Banks inspired the Potters to their 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over West Ham.

"Gordon relaxed the players before the game, which was really nice," Pulis told BBC Radio Stoke.

"What an honour it is to have a man of his stature still supporting us."

Banks saved a penalty from Geoff Hurst when City beat the Hammers in a League Cup semi-final replay in 1972 en route to their only ever major trophy.

In addition to Banks's appearance in the City dressing room, Denis Smith and Jimmy Greenhoff, who also played in the League Cup winning side of 1972, and former manager Lou Macari visited the Stoke training ground in the week leading to the sixth-round clash with the Hammers.

"It's been lovely to see the old boys, they're Stoke through and through," added Pulis.

A Danny Higginbotham free-kick booked Stoke their first FA Cup semi-final in 39 years after Frederic Piquionne cancelled out Robert Huth's opener at the Britannia Stadium.

"I'm pleased for everybody at the football club," said former Gillingham, Portsmouth and Plymouth boss Pulis.

"This has been a fantastic period for us and it's only going to get better.

"The players have got fantastic spirit and character. They are a good group."

Stoke now meet Bolton in the last four at Wembley, with the Potters looking to reach their first ever FA Cup final and book a place in next season's Europa League.

"Bolton are a fantastic football club with good players and a very good manager," said Pulis.

"They have been in the Premier League a lot longer than us and they have got more established players, but that doesn't mean that we haven't got an outstanding chance."