REUTERS: Gordon Banks, the goalkeeper who helped England win the World Cup in 1966, has died at the age of 81, his former club Stoke City said in a statement on Tuesday (Feb 12).
Banks won 73 caps for England between 1963 and 1972 and made nearly 200 appearances for Stoke before his playing career was brought to an end due to a car crash that cost him the sight in one eye.
He was widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers to have played the game and will perhaps be best remembered for the diving stop he made to deny Brazil's Pele at the 1970 World Cup, which later became known as the "save of the century".
"It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight," Stoke said on their official website. "We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.
"We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time."
Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in the 4-2 win over West Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley, tweeted a fulsome tribute to his former team-mate.
"Very sad to hear the news that Gordon has died. One of the very greatest," tweeted 77-year-old Hurst.
"Thinking especially of Ursula, Julia, Wendy and Robert. Sad for football, Stoke City and for England fans. Will be very sadly missed."
Banks, whose club playing career revolved largely around Stoke and Leicester City, is the latest of the 1966 team to pass away.
Captain Bobby Moore, the baby of the team Alan Ball and Ray Wilson preceded him whilst several such as Nobby Stiles and Martin Peters suffer from Alzheimer's.