Stoke prepares to pay respects to Gordon Banks

Thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Stoke as the city pays its final respects to England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks.

Banks died at the age of 81 on February 12, and his funeral will be held at Stoke Minster on Monday, the 47th anniversary of the club’s League Cup final victory over Chelsea in which he played.

The service, which is by invitation only, will also be shown on a big screen at the Potters’ bet365 Stadium, where club captain Ryan Shawcross and team-mates Joe Allen, Bruno Martins Indi, Charlie Adam, Tom Edwards and Mame Diouf will form a guard of honour along with members of the 1972 side.

Fans will have an opportunity to say their own farewells as the funeral cortege passes along a 10-mile route through the city.

Sheffield-born Banks made 510 league appearances for Chesterfield, Leicester and Stoke, but it was on the international stage that he established himself as a star, winning 73 senior caps, most famously in the 4-2 World Cup final victory over West Germany in 1966.

However, he will probably be best remembered for his heroics in Mexico four years later when he made the breathtaking save which was to define his career when he somehow managed to turn Brazil star Pele’s header over the crossbar.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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