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England World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks OBE dies aged 81

England World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks OBE has died aged 81, his family have announced. 

Banks was between the sticks for Sir Alf Ramsey's team as they won the World Cup for the only time in England's history, in 1966.
His only spell in management was in charge of Telford United between 1979 and 1980. 
Former England Keeper Gordon Banks 

The Yorkshire-born goalkeeper, who had long spells at Leicester City and Stoke City as a player, won 73 caps for England.
He made one of the most famous saves in football history, denying a Pele header in the 1970 World Cup.
Stoke shared a statement from Banks' family, announcing he had passed away 'peacefully' overnight. 
The statement continued: 'We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.'

Fate

In an interview with the Express & Star in 2014, Banks revealed how 'fate' played its hand in Banks enjoying the domestic and international career he had.
But for his poor time-keeping, it might never have happened.
Back in the early 50s in his native Sheffield, the teenage Banks had no greater designs on life than a career in bricklaying having already begun his training as an apprentice. 
Despite having left school only a year previously, it was already his second profession, an upgrade on working the local coal round, taking rocks of the station wagons and dropping them into people’s cellars.
A schoolboy career in football had come to an end when he was dropped after just two appearances for Sheffield Boys and while he loved the game, a life in brickwork lay ahead of him – until that Saturday.
“To get overtime I would work early morning Saturday until lunchtime,” he explains. “I would dash home, get washed and changed and then rush into Sheffield on the bus to watch either Wednesday or United, whichever was playing at home – it didn’t really matter to me. 
“On this particular Saturday I was running late and missed the bus. As I knew I wouldn’t have got to the game until half-time, I decided to go and watch the local team play on the recreation ground near home, where we used to play football as kids.
“I went down there and it was your typical scene. There was sawdust down for the lines, nets wrapped against the post and six or seven of them warming up, kicking the ball about.
“I’ve lent on the railing watching them when one of them, who I thought I recognised, looked at me and said ‘you used to play in goal at school didn’t you?’
“‘Yes’, I replied.
“’Well, do you fancy a game?’ he said, ‘our goalie has not turned up. 

“I rushed home and got changed – I had the socks and boots but no shorts, so I ended up playing in my working trousers.
“The game went pretty well and they asked me if I wanted to play a bit more regularly and that was that, the start of my career.”
Banks only played for that team, Millspaugh Sports, for a short while before he was scouted by Chesterfield and eventually offered his first professional contract, for £3 a week.
From there came Leicester, Stoke, England and, well, the rest really is history.
On his stroke of fortune, Banks is no doubt. 


Former Stoke city Poacher Banks 

“Had I not missed that bus, I would have been a bricklayer for the rest of my life,” he says.
Telford United manager
Banks' one and only job as a manager was at Telford United, then of the Alliance Premier. It was a short spell that, the goalkeeping legend admitted, put him off management for good.
Yet if his playing career was sensational – his managerial career was quite the opposite, beginning and ending as it did in 1980 at Telford. 
Gordon Banks During His Time Telford United 

After hanging up his boots following a spell in the NASL with the Fort Lauderdale Stars, Banks had begun coaching at Port Vale in 1977 but was keen on testing the water in management when Telford came calling.
When talking about his time with the Bucks, there is a definite bitterness in Banks’ tone. He refutes the oft-heralded tale of selling raffle tickets after being sacked in 1980 but nevertheless, there are clearly certain elements to his dismissal and the way he was treated which still rankle.
“I was very disappointed in Telford because they asked me, they got in touch with me and asked if I would come and help them get out of relegation when they were second bottom of the Alliance Premier,” he says.
“There were eight games left of the season, or something like that.
“I was going for an interview at Lincoln and I didn’t get it, I didn’t get in touch with Telford again but then they phoned me and asked if I would come.
“From my point of view it was a chance to keep them up and then maybe get noticed by a club in the league.
“We avoided relegation and then through the summer I did all the coaching and we signed a few players.
“I admit I thought we could have done better at the start of the next season, we were a bit up and down. Then I had to go and have a hip replacement.”
Banks himself brought in Jack Mudie to take charge of team affairs but shortly after his return, following the operation, he was shown the door.
“I came back on crutches to start training again and a couple of weeks later we had a cup match against a club from a lower division.
“We lost 1-0, I went up to the offices and they told me they were letting me go.
“I was that gutted, I never applied for a manager’s job again. I was so shocked by what they had done to me. The following season they got to the final of the FA Trophy, with my team.
“I couldn’t believe it. That experience really did put me off management for good.”
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