Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has hailed the “immensely modest” Gordon Banks, following the former England goalkeeper’s death on Tuesday.
Banks’ family announced, via Stoke’s official website, that the 81-year-old World Cup winner had passed away peacefully overnight.
Yorkshire-born Banks made 194 appearances for the Potters from 1967-1973 before being forced to retire from professional football after losing his sight in one eye following a car crash.
Stoke chairman Peter Coates told Radio Five Live: “It’s a very sad day for us because we liked him so much, he was so much a part of the club.
“He was a president of the club, he came to all of our games, he made his home in Stoke and spent all of his later years here. He was very much part of the fabric.
“He spoke to everybody, knew everybody. He had no side to him – for one of England’s greatest ever goalkeepers, you don’t get too many like that. He was immensely modest for all of his great talent.”
Stoke City Chairman, Peter Coates, gives a heartfelt tribute to Club President Gordon Banks OBE following his passing. pic.twitter.com/3Ul3wQ9HQo
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) February 12, 2019
Coates added to the club’s website: “Gordon was an iconic figure not only in English football but across the globe and it’s deeply sad that we have lost him.
“It’s not just people of my generation who know how good a goalkeeper he was – people of all ages talked about Gordon reverentially. He was outstanding and it was an absolute privilege to watch him playing for Stoke City.
“He was also a keen advocate for our city and he will be sadly missed by local people from all walks of life, not just football fans.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to Gordon’s wife Ursula, his three children Robert, Wendy and Julia and the rest of the Banks family at this time.”
Banks’ finest moment came in 1966 when his performances helped England claim their only World Cup crown while he is also remembered for a stunning save to deny Pele at Brazil 1970.
“His legacy will be, first and foremost, that he was the goalkeeper who played for England when they had their finest hour at the 1966 World Cup,” said Coates.
“I remember him telling me that when he walked out at the stadium he had goosepimples. He’d never experienced anything like it, he said. The noise was absolutely deafening, he said it made him shake. But he went out and did the job, of course.”
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