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GORDON BANKS


BORN:  DEC. 20, 1937 
COUNTRY: England
WORLD CUP APPEARANCES:  2 tournaments ('66,'70)
CLUBS: Leicester, Stoke

INTRODUCTION: Even more so than Yashin, the greatest goalkeeper of the World Cup. 

1966 World Cup - England
Gordon was praised by many to be "as safe as the banks of England".  He was a key player of England's 1966 cup-winning team.  Going into the 1966 tournament, he had 3 consecutive shutouts in international matches.  And his form was so commanding that he did not concede a single goal for another 4 matches at the World Cup, meaning he kept 7 consecutive clean-sheets.  England's lone World Cup success was largely attributed to Gordon Banks, as well as to Charlton, Moore and Hurst.  He played well against West Germany in the Final and was unlucky to concede the  tying goal.
BANKS OF ENGLAND
Banks celebrating with Stiles after the final victory over West Germany

1970 World Cup - Mexico

At the 1970, World Cup, Banks produced the most famous save of all time.  In the first-round match against Brazil, Banks flew from one side of the goal to another to punch out Pele's bullet header.   Soon after producing the great save against Brazil, he was sidelined because of food poisoning.  Without him, England could not contain a brilliant Gerd Muller in the quarter-final against West Germany and was eliminated.

Soon after the World Cup, he unfortunately lost the use of one eye in an accident and was later forced to retire from the national team.


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