GORDON BANKS might have turned 80 at present — however his ties to the previous nonetheless helped trigger a pre-Christmas rush at Stoke’s membership store.
As he reaches the milestone, England’s most well-known goalkeeper can look again on an iconic profession which included that well-known World Cup win.
And Banks will for ever maintain a particular place within the coronary heart of soccer’s most celebrated participant — Pele.
Each have been among the many legends invited to this month’s World Cup attract Moscow.
It was an emotional reunion for the pair, notably when Banks noticed the Brazil legend in a wheelchair.
However as Banks stepped out on to the stage as a part of the draw, he wore a Stoke Metropolis tie.
And that went down effectively again dwelling. Banks stated: “I couldn’t consider the response.
“Once I got here again from Moscow, I used to be capable of go to Stoke’s sport towards Swansea.
“I went into the boardroom and the chairman was there along with his spouse. He informed me that folks have been coming as much as him asking the place they might purchase that tie!
“They ended up promoting out within the membership store and needed to order extra.
“I knew the draw was going to be proven all around the world, I’m an honorary president of the membership, so I believed I’d put one thing on that might get folks speaking.”
Banks could also be 80 however he admits that most individuals solely wish to speak to him about 70 . . . the 1970 World Cup, that’s.
And presumably the best save the match has ever seen. One which has gone down in soccer historical past and been proven again and again.
Banks’ unbelievable cease from what appeared sure to be a headed objective by Pele will dwell for ever.
Regardless that Banks received the World Cup in 1966, it’s this second throughout England’s conflict with Brazil within the group stage that folks have a tendency to say first once they meet him.
Pele even unveiled Banks’ statue exterior Stoke’s stadium nearly a decade in the past.
The Three Lions nice stated: “While you win the World Cup, you possibly can’t get any greater than that.
“It’s the most important factor in soccer to win that, and to be so proud to place that England shirt on and represent your nation — it was implausible. One thing particular.
“Pele says wherever he goes world wide, they speak in regards to the objectives he scored.
“However when he involves England, all they discuss is that save! It’s nearly a weekly incidence that folks deliver that up.
“I noticed Pele on the Moscow draw and he was in a wheelchair — I didn’t realise he couldn’t stroll any extra.
That was so unhappy and I felt actually sorry for him however we have been each delighted to see one another.
“Every time we meet, we give one another an enormous hug and have a great chat. What an incredible participant he was.”
Banks remembers, to today, the sequence that led to the Pele save in Guadalajara greater than 47 years in the past.
And, particularly, how he needed to get used to the rock-hard, sun-baked, bouncy pitches in Mexico.
He recalled: “It’s probably the greatest saves I made. I needed to get used to these arduous surfaces — it was like enjoying on concrete.
“I needed to practise as a result of the ball bounced a lot.
“That follow helped me to make that save. I needed to anticipate how excessive the ball would bounce from the floor. After which I wanted to get my fingers on to it. I did that and knocked it over the crossbar.
“I needed to get it protected, in any other case he would’ve adopted as much as rating.
“Bobby Moore made a joke about it. I used to be mendacity on the ground afterwards and he came to visit, patted me on the again and stated, ‘Banksy, attempt to hold maintain of it subsequent time, for Christ’s sake! Don’t give away foolish corners!’
“I believed we had a great facet — nearly as good as 66. I actually thought we had a great likelihood. After we performed Brazil within the group I believed, ‘We’re going to satisfy you afterward’.
“However I shall by no means know to today why I obtained meals poisoning forward of the quarter-final towards West Germany and didn’t play.
“How come I used to be the one one? All of us ate the identical meals. That stands proud like a bloody sore thumb.”
But, amazingly, Banks reckons he made one other save that was BETTER than the one from Pele. And it got here towards one other World Cup legend — Geoff Hurst.
Banks recalled: “The Pele one lives on. However I bear in mind a penalty save for Stoke towards Hurst within the League Cup semi-final towards West Ham in 1972.
“I’d by no means confronted a penalty towards him earlier than however his run-up was exterior the penalty space!
“So as soon as he began pounding into the ball, I believed that he couldn’t twist at that velocity.
“He was proper footed, so it was going to my proper and I anticipated it. If that had gone in, we’d have been out of the competitors.
“Geoff all the time agrees that it was a greater save than the one from Pele.”
However his greatest sense of delight comes from his Wembley appearances — the World Cup win towards West Germany and Stoke’s 1972 League Cup victory over Chelsea.
Remarkably, the yr after his shows within the 1966 World Cup confirmed Banks because the world’s finest keeper, Leicester bought him. They informed him they have been placing their religion in an unknown teenager they’d on their books — future England legend Peter Shilton.
Banks added: “I got here to Stoke from Leicester. That they had requested me if I used to be ready to maneuver.
“I didn’t wish to stick with a membership that didn’t need me.
“Stoke had by no means performed in a cup last, in order that made me useless proud to stroll down the tunnel that day.
“We have been the underdogs towards Chelsea that day however went on to beat them and introduced the cup again to Stoke.
“I felt completely implausible that day. It means a lot to the folks of the town even now.
“You must’ve seen the reception we obtained after we got here again on the Sunday. The roads have been full.”