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Throwback Thursday: The late Gordon Banks’ legendary save

On Tuesday this week, football began to mourn the loss of one of it’s true greats, Gordon Banks.

A goalkeeper who oozed class both between the goalposts and off of the pitch, the 1966 World Cup winner died at the age of 81 and instantly the football community began to pay tributes. A veteran of both Leicester City and Stoke City during his playing days, he is best remembered for being the England number one when the nation won it’s only trophy.

But, it was four years later that Banks made most famous save at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Entering the tournament as the holders but not the favourites in the Mexican heat, England met the might of Brazil, inspired by no lesser player than Pele that summer.

It was a classic battle between the two nations, played at the highest quality as Brazil displayed the technical ability that saw them revered around the world and England showcased that toughness that the 1966 triumph was built on. Bobby Moore’s tackle on Pele is iconic in British football folklore, but the save made by Banks to deny the great man a headed goal is heralded as one of the best saves ever.

England were to exit the 1970 World Cup following a defeat to West Germany in the quarter-final and sadly, were without their star goalkeeper for that tie due to illness. But moments like these have immortalised the talented goalkeeper that Gordon Banks was and he will surely be remembered for as long as goalkeepers are still denying strikers.