GORDON BANKS, ENGLAND’S NO.1, HAS DIED AGED 81
“I was ready to celebrate, but then this man Banks appeared in my sight like a kind of blue phantom.”
Even Pele was stopped in his tracks by Gordon Banks, the world’s best goalkeeper in his day, who has died aged 81.
A World Cup winner with England in 1966, he is perhaps best remembered for his wonder save from Pele four years later in Mexico, a stop often dubbed the greatest in football history.
Almost half a century later, Banks’ diving flip to deny the world’s best player is still astonishing in its athleticism, snatching victory from certain defeat, an almost extra-terrestrial action on the football field.
A Goalkeeper With Magic
His nonchalant trot back head down across his goalmouth to defend the ensuing corner shows the other side of his character – a decent, modest yeoman warrior not given to blowing his own trumpet loudly.
In both tournaments Banks was in imperious form and might have won a second Jules Rimet trophy had he not mysteriously gone down with food poisoning on the eve of England’s quarter-final against West Germany.
The fact he was the only Judi Bola Online24Jam Terpercaya player to fall ill, from a suspected contaminated beer, and he was England’s mighty guardian, was very suspicious.
“Of all the players to lose, we had to lose him,” rued manager Alf Ramsey.
To this day no proof of foul play has come forth but rumours abound that the CIA wanted England out so that Brazil would win the World Cup and in its elation the country would not fall to the communists.
Banks was the unlucky hero whose beer was duly poisoned as part of a political game, …