Gordon Banks

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Gordon Banks, OBE (born 30 December 1937) is a retired English footballer, elected in a poll by the IFFHS as the second best goalkeeper of the 20th Century — after Lev Yashin (1st) and before Dino Zoff (3rd).[1]

Banks was a member of the England national team that won the 1966 World Cup. Banks was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

His consistent performances in goal led to the re-wording of a common English idiom to "Safe as the Banks of England".[2]


Early years

Banks, born in Sheffield[3] was a careful student of goalkeepers during childhood. Banks played in local colliery football as a boy and was offered an apprenticeship by Chesterfield after initially going to work as a coal bagger and then as a bricklayer on leaving school. After performances in the youth and A teams gained him promotion to the reserves, Banks was posted to Germany with the Royal Signals on National service, winning the Rhine Cup with his regimental team. On his return he was offered a full-time contract by the Chesterfield manager, Teddy Davison.

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