This is hardly an article, more of an acknowledgement of the passing today of the great Gordon Banks.

Having been introduced to Goodison Park during the early 60s, I was aware of certain players who struck absolute respect in the hearts of Evertonians. People like Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton. But goalkeepers seemed to top the list, and players like Pat Jennings and Jim Montgomery would always receive a standing ovation when they came out onto the pitch. Gordon Banks, however, was the one we were the happiest to see.

So I am writing this brief piece to invite those who also saw him to write a comment on the great man, on behalf of all Evertonians.


Reader Comments (20)

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 12/02/2019 at 21:51:51
I remember seeing Banks at Goodison around 1971 against Stoke. I was in the Paddock with my mate. I think we drew, but seem to recall being very frustrated because we dominated the game, and had a number of chances which seemed certain goals, only for Banks to pull off ridiculous saves. But although frustrating, it was also thrilling to see this great keeper in action.

An absolute privilege to see greatness like that.

RIP Gordon

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 12/02/2019 at 22:06:22
Never saw Fred Pickering play but I did see Banksy a few times and not only was he a great player but a gent as well. He was always warmly welcomed at Goodison.
Jim Potter
3 Posted 12/02/2019 at 22:12:42
One of the greats. Even better in '70 than in '66.

That save from Pele. Unforgettable. I had a poster of it on my wall as a kid.

Playing on after the car crash that took an eye. Players today could learn a thing or two off Banksy's ilk.

RIP.

Jerome Shields
4 Posted 13/02/2019 at 12:09:51
Banks was one of the best, if not the best. Loyal to Stoke and I will never forget that save. Thank you.
Ian Pilkington
5 Posted 13/02/2019 at 12:35:51
I remember him playing well at Goodison for both Leicester and Stoke, not only the best ever England goalkeeper but one of the best ever in the world.

The 1970 England World Cup squad was a considerable improvement on 1966 and, had Banks not been taken ill, I'm sure Brazil v England would have been the Final that year.

Catterick did not need him because we had Gordon West, but thank goodness Shankly was denied the funds to do so when Leicester made him available. A sad week with Fred Pickering gone as well.

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 13/02/2019 at 14:34:54
That save from Pele was indeed a fantastic save, but I was pleased that Mike Walters, of The Daily Mirror, highlighted his save from Geoff Hurst in the semi-final of the League Cup from a penalty. I remember it well, Hurst ran up and banged it in, but Gordon had stood tall and somehow palmed it over the bar, a great save.

As for Banks himself, a down-to-earth man who never got beyond his station, but nevertheless was appreciated by fans of every club wherever he played.

I met him on the corner of The East Lancs Road and Stopgate Lane, I was walking my dog and Gordon had parked his car but was walking away from it looking a bit lost, I told him I was sorry for staring at him but he looked a lot like Gordon Banks, he replied “Maybe that's because I am Gordon Banks.” I said, “You look a bit confused?” There had been an accident that morning and Stopgate Lane was blocked off.

Gordon explained that he couldn't park his car where he usually did because of this, I told him to go to the bizzie on traffic duty and he'll more than likely let you through if he recognises you.

Banks did this and came back, he said “You were right he's letting me through” then gave me the thumbs up. I never got players autographs so never asked Gordon for his, but I was struck that he never expected to be taken for more than an ordinary man in the street.

Sorry for going on with this post, but thought it was a story worth telling.

Stephen Davies
7 Posted 13/02/2019 at 14:41:11
I don't think this is generally well known but Gordon Banks was EFC goalie coach round about 1986-87.
Steve Ferns
8 Posted 13/02/2019 at 14:48:37
Stephen, I wondered by Big Nev was talking about working with Gordon Banks, so that explains it. Thanks, mate.

RIP, Gordon.

Don Alexander
9 Posted 13/02/2019 at 15:48:35
A great 'keeper indeed. RIP.

That said, let's not overlook how good Westy was because, in 1969, Ramsey took him to a pre-World Cup acclimatisation tour to Mexico and he, not Banks, was the goalie twice selected for the first team. Only Westy saying he wasn't interested in going again in 1970 for the actual World Cup (he said he was afflicted by home-sickness) properly ensured Banksy had nothing to worry about re selection.

Declan Burke
10 Posted 13/02/2019 at 17:29:47
Another of the 1966 World Cup winners has gone to his eternal rest. Gordon, along with his team mates were rightly acclaimed heroes by the whole nation following their magnificent achievement. After all, everyone loves a winner.

However over the following 53 years, only Geoff Hurst and Bobby Charlton were deemed suitable by the British Establishment to receive knighthoods. Why? Was it a two man team? What about the other nine men who sweated and toiled to become World Cup winners?

In the meantime the Queen's honors list has no doubt rewarded the good and the brave but also many individuals less worthy than these world champions. What an opportunity missed. RIP Alan, Bobby, George and Gordon.

Alan McGuffog
11 Posted 13/02/2019 at 21:04:55
I remember a couple of games on the mid-sixties when Gordon was injured. Cue collective rubbing of hands in anticipation of a goal glut. The Claymen had a reserve keeper called John Farmer who was a superb keeper and he played like he had been cloned from the great man.
Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 13/02/2019 at 21:37:31
Declan (10), Inwouldn’t worry too much about the Queen’s honours list, I’d rather read the list where people have refused the honours offered, like Albert Finney, the great actor who died last week.

Those footballers who won the World Cup will be well remembered with or without any Knighthoods.

Andy Riley
13 Posted 13/02/2019 at 22:06:50
I think the last game he played before the car crash where he lost an eye was at Anfield. He was penalised for taking more than four steps on the only occasion I think that short lived rule was ever enforced and Liverpool scored!
Charles Barrow
14 Posted 13/02/2019 at 22:09:09
Yes he was a great keeper and no doubt there are plenty of saves the media could show but they are obsessed with the admittedly iconic Pele save.

Talking of that save it is our own Tommy Wright who jumped with Pele. I believe he has said that Pele pushed him as they both jumped. If you look closely when the camera pans round all you see is Tommy in a position with his back arched forward not back towards the ball. Doesn't make any difference to the fact it was a fabulous save — just that, if it had gone in, it should have been disallowed!

Peter Mills
15 Posted 13/02/2019 at 23:17:02
Alan #11, I had forgotten about John Farmer. What a reserve ‘keeper.

Dave #6. That's a story worth telling!

Mike Gaynes
16 Posted 14/02/2019 at 00:23:56
Dave #6, thanks for sharing that.
Terry White
17 Posted 14/02/2019 at 04:30:39
I remember Gordon Banks especially from the excellent Leicester team from the early '60s. Especially since, once the other lot across the park got promoted, Leicester had their number. Banks was exceptional in goal against them and Mike Stringfellow was always scoring the winner. At least it seemed that way.
John G Davies
18 Posted 14/02/2019 at 04:58:08
Dave,

100% correct. The ones who stick in my mind are the ones who refused the so-called honours.

Ken Loach, whose films centre on social issues such as poverty, homelessness and benefits, told the Radio Times in 2001: “It's all the things I think are despicable: patronage, deferring to the monarchy and the name of the British Empire, which is a monument of exploitation and conquest.

“I turned down the OBE because it's not a club you want to join when you look at the villains who've got it.”

Les Green
19 Posted 14/02/2019 at 08:28:35
In regard to the knighthood, mentioned by a few on this post; I heard today that it was proposed 3 years ago, but those who do the admin for such things actually lost he paperwork so it never happened.
Brent Stephens
20 Posted 14/02/2019 at 09:18:43
Dave #12, John #18 - amen to that!

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