Gordon Banks

About that 1970 World Cup…

Again we are all familiar with it now. You know, that save which denied Pele.

I’ve previously posted a quote from “O Rei” on what he thought of that stop. The man himself reminisced about it in July 2008 when he met up again with the Brazilian legend as he unveiled a statue of Gordon Banks outside Stoke’s Britannia Stadium.
Gordon Banks and his statue

Banksy said of that moment:

“As soon as I got my hand to it, I thought it was going in the top corner,” he said.

“But after I’d landed on the hard floor, I looked up and saw the ball bounce behind the net and that’s when I said: ‘Banksy, you lucky prat.’ “

Despite his goalkeeping heroics England still lost that game remember.

England were still in the competition though, they finished 2nd behind Brazil in their ground and were through to the knockout stages where they were due to play… West Germany. The team were confident. “We’ve beat this lot before”. But there was a setback, and it was with the Banks of England. The day before Banksy had complained of a stomach upset and spent most of his time in the bathroom. The England doctors gave him medication and rest but he didn’t recover in time. Peter Bonetti was then summoned to take his place and England initially went 2-up in the match, but then Beckenbauer got one back and Seeler scored to take it into extra time. Eventually they came out as winners when Gerd Mueller slipped one past Bonetti in the 108th minute.

Conspiracies began to surface that Banks had been “nobbled” by someone in England’s hotel and that his food had been somehow spiked, but this was dismissed by Banks.

Back to the league…

After the World Cup he returned to his club Stoke City and in 1972 was part of the team that beat Chelsea (his opposite number in their goal that day – Peter Bonetti) to win the League Cup.

But then on a dark night in October 1972, whilst driving home Banks lost control of his car which ended up in a ditch. He lost consciousness and was rushed to hospital. When he came round Banksy was informed that he had not suffered any life-threatening injury… but he had lost the sight in his right eye. Thus ending the career of one of the greatest goalkeepers to grace the game.

Gordon Banks in the hospital after his crash

Actually no it didn’t.

After a few years hanging around the sidelines of football, as a scout and then managing non-league Telford United, he once again took up his position between the sticks. In 1977 he went to play as a named superstar for the NASL side Fort Lauderdale Strikers along with George Best. After that 1977 season, the ever-present Banks was voted Best Goalkeeper in the NASL.

Lesson to be learned – never let a disability drag you down.

Whilst at Stoke their fans sang in praise of the legendary shot stopper:

Chris Renshaw and The Keepers

» Chris Renshaw & The Keepers – Banksie


I’ve posted before about an album by the 1970 England team just before they flew off to Mexico.
The World Beaters Sing The World Beaters” it was called with various players taking a turn to sing a cover of a bit hit of the day.

Banksy’s contribution was a strange choice… On the album sleevenotes it says:

Lovey-Dovey: Your actual “reggae” music with Gordon Banks in true Carribbean form.

» Gordon Banks & the 1970 England Team – Lovey Dovey


» I found another song.

It was the usual sort of thing… When I was looking for something else I stumbled across another song that the great goalkeeper had recorded. But even better that that – It was released as a single.

In this country tinged tune Bansky sings a bit and then talks about England’s 1972 performance (?!) That’s right I said ’72… plus his domestic duties at Stoke City. Downright weird if you ask me.
(This was all before his car accident obviously)

» Gordon Banks & his Friends – We’ll Be Together

» More singing 1970 England footballers.

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