In his 2002 autobiography, Gordon Banks, the only English goalkeeper in history with a World Cup winners’ medal, recalls why, when he climbed to his feet after that wondrous save from Pele at the 1970 World Cup, he did so with a chuckle. “I was laughing at what Bobby Moore had just said to me,” Banks would write years later of his most famous save. “‘You’re getting old, Banksy,’ Bobby quipped. ‘You used to hold on to them.’” Banks, one of England’s boys of 1966, died on Tuesday as a consequence of kidney cancer, at the age of 81. He is the fourth of the XI who won the World Cup more than 52 years ago to pass away, and his death precipitated an outpouring of sadness and nostalgia across the English game and beyond, including by the great Pele himself. Banks’s life will be remembered for that wondrous save, perhaps even more than for anything he did four years earlier when England won the World Cup, but his … [Read more...] about Gordon Banks: The steelworker’s son who became a World Cup winner and goalkeeping inspiration
England 1970 world cup squad
ENGLAND'S 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died aged 81 following a long battle with cancer. The former Stoke and Leicester City star is widely regarded as one of the best keepers of all time and his save to deny Pele in 1970 is one of the most famous stops in history. He was part of the famous side who helped the Three Lions lift the Jules Rimet trophy for the first and only time at Wembley almost 53 years ago. Confirming his death today, his family said in a statement: "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." Banks revealed in 2015 he was fighting kidney cancer for a second time, having lost a kidney to the disease 10 years earlier. Gordon Banks' agent Terry Baker, of A1 Sporting Speakers of Christchurch, Dorset, today said: "It's a sad day … [Read more...] about Gordon Banks dead – 1966 World Cup winning England goalie passes away aged 81
It is the evening of September 9, and the Stade de France is a sea of sound and flashing lights as the Paris public greet their World Cup heroes, embarking on another campaign. The golden trophy is raised aloft once more. The crowd bathes in euphoria, as they did, one million and more of them, filling the Champs Elysees the day after their triumph in Moscow.France is awash with pride, a nation at ease with itself. The President of the Republic surrounds himself with the players, handing out the gongs and modestly basking in reflected glory, as presidents always do.On the eve of that day in July, Simon Kuper, doyen of sportswriters and correspondent for the Financial Times in the French capital, described Emmanuel Macron as “perhaps the luckiest of presidents”. Sophie Pedder, Paris bureau chief for The Economist, has written that Macron aims to provide France “with moments of collective exaltation, of common feeling, that bring a nation together, in awe or in … [Read more...] about Has World Cup feelgood factor melted as Paris burns?
A Welsh autumn usually brings several unavoidable irritations. Bonfire Night now lasts a fortnight as late-night bangers traumatise pets across the nation. Cardiff and Swansea city centres endure gridlock as people queue for the unfathomable privilege of having a selfie with a fizzy drinks lorry. And yesterday brought the Americanised retail madness of Black Friday. But thankfully Welsh rugby has had no such sense of déjà vu this autumn. The November internationals have brought none of the customary disappointments, leaving Wales to savour today’s match against South Africa with excitement and confidence rather than merely hoping to salvage pride at the scrag end of the calendar season. So what’s been different this time? For a start we didn’t have the standard Slow Start. When Wales saw off Scotland to claim the inaugural Doddie Weir Cup it was their first victory on the opening weekend of an autumn international campaign for 16 years. Then came the … [Read more...] about World Cup beckons as Tests put spring back in Wales’ step
There was an image that Gareth Southgate described as he spoke of how England need to use their World Cup achievements as a platform to greater and even trophy-winning success and convince themselves that reaching the semi-finals was not just a “one-off”. It was of a young boy pedalling furiously up to the England team hotel on his BMX bike – just as he had done before the squad headed out to Russia. “I remember there was a lad who cycled up here to the hotel on his bike, he was waiting for us, he was 13. He was there today, too,” Southgate explained after the boy had dropped off a thank you card and met the England manager. “He felt like I did in 1990 [when England last reached the World Cup semi-final]. Two generations of supporters have experienced something they’ve never experienced before. That will always be there.” It will always be there, from a glorious summer of re-connection with England, but now the work begins again: to … [Read more...] about England seek to show World Cup was not a one-off ahead of facing Spain in Uefa Nations League