England World Cup-winner Gordon Banks dies aged 81

Banks won the World Cup with England in 1966

Banks won the World Cup with England in 1966

Banks was part of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup and was credited with making the "Save of the Century" when he denied Brazilian great Pele at the tournament four years later.

The 73 capped shot-stopper, who is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world, was named Federation Internationale de Football Association goalkeeper of the year six times.

England's top goalscorer in World Cup finals Gary Lineker posted a heartfelt message to his "hero" Banks, while hailing him as one of the greatest to play the sport.

"RIP Gordon Banks. England legend, your legacy will live on".

The veteran shot-stopper, who played for Stoke City and Leicester City among a storied career, died peacefully in his sleep overnight, his family confirmed . We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.

His professional career ended later that year when he lost sight in his right eye after a auto crash, though he did go on to play briefly in the United States before a one-year stint managing Telford United in 1979.

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"Gordon was a fantastic goalkeeper, without doubt one of the best England has ever had".

England's official Twitter account tweeted: "We're deeply saddened to hear that Gordon Banks, our #WorldCup-winning goalkeeper, has passed away".

England's 1966 World Cup hero Geoff Hurst said: "Very sad to hear the news that Gordon has died". My thoughts are with his family and friends.

Gordon Banks jumps to make a save in the match with Hungary at Wembley.

One fan added: "RIP to an English football legend".

England and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was among the first to pay tribute, tweeting: "Of course there was that save, but it's so much more we are mourning today". I went into the training ground on my 6 weeks holidays to work with him.

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