Gordon Banks, the goalkeeper of the World Cup-winning England squad in 1966, has died at the age of 81.

His former club Stoke announced his death on their website with a statement from his family.

He was thought to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world, winning Fifa goalkeeper of the year six times and playing 73 times for England between 1963 and 1972.

Banks will be remembered for his save from Pele in a 1970 World Cup game against Brazil.

He was also known for a save against Scotland in a 1967 game that Scotland eventually won.


In a statement, Bank's family said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight.

"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."

WATCH: Banks' famous save against Pele in 1970

The news was met with sadness by some of football's most famous faces.

Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: "Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died. @England's World Cup winner was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man. #RIPGordon"


Ex-England striker Michael Owen tweeted: "Sad to hear that Gordon Banks has passed away at the age of 81. Had the pleasure of meeting him a number of times and he was one of the game's true gentlemen, not to mention one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. Rest In Peace."

England manager Gareth Southgate said on the Football Association website: "I am deeply saddened to hear of Gordon's passing.

"An all-time great for England, I was privileged enough to be in his company on a number of occasions.

"It was particularly special to be with him at a Football Writers' tribute dinner last year and wish him well on his 80th birthday.

"Gordon spoke to the room about that incredible save from Pele against Brazil back in 1970 and moments like that from his remarkable World Cup-winning career will continue to linger long in the memory.

"On behalf of everyone connected with England, I send my condolences to his wife Ursula, his family and friends."


The Twitter account of the German national football team tweeted: A fierce opponent and a good man. Rest in peace, Gordon Banks."

Banks lost the sight in his right eye after being injured in a road accident in 1972 and retired at the age of 34 as a result.

After his retirement, Banks worked as a coah for a short period, before writing two autobiographies and fronting a Leicester-based hospitality company.

He is survived by his wife Ursula, whom he met while on National Service in Germany in 1955, and three children.