Gordon Banks, England’s goalkeeper during their triumphant 1966 World Cup campaign, died aged 81 on Tuesday.

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.

Such was the accuracy and force of Pele’s effort that the Brazil great thought he had scored and was beginning to celebrate before being stopped in his tracks by Banks’s breathtaking intervention.

Born in Sheffield, he won the League Cup with Stoke and Leicester, before retiring in 1973. Making his England debut in 1963, Banks won 73 caps and was voted Fifa Goalkeeper of the Year six times before his international career came to an end, when he lost the sight in his right eye in a car accident.

In later years, Banks twice battled cancer, but remained as active as possible as a Stoke life president and was a regular in the crowd at his old club’s Britannia Stadium.

(With AFP inputs)