Gordon Banks, England’s goalkeeper during their triumphant 1966 World Cup campaign, has died aged 81, his former club Stoke City announced on Tuesday. His family said the 73-times capped Banks, who lost an eye in a car crash in 1972, had died in his sleep. “It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight,” his family said. “We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.” Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in the 4-2 win over West Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley, tweeted a tribute to his former teammate. “Very sad to hear the news that Gordon has died. One of the very greatest,” tweeted 77-year-old Hurst.

Banks, who played in every game of the 1966 campaign on home soil, is probably best known for a wonder save he produced to deny Brazilian great Pele in the 1970 World Cup group match. “Once I got my hand to it I hadn’t a clue where it was going,” he modestly said afte...

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