Tributes have continued to pour in after the passing of England’s World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks. Regarded as one of the greatest ever in his position, the 81-year-old died on Tuesday surrounded by his family.
He moved to Stoke City in 1967, after lifting the World Cup in the previous year, making 194 appearances for the Potters in a six-year period. He was well loved in the area, and many have flocked to his statue outside the Bet365.
Liam Lawrence, who donned a Potters shirt from 2006-2011, met Banks, and believes he will be sadly missed, in the community and beyond.
“The word legend is thrown about in today’s game too much, but it is fitting to use it in the same breath as Gordon Banks. I think what he achieved for Stoke and England, and the stuff that he did locally for charity, the man was a hero so he will be sadly missed.
“You see the videos growing up as a kid, certain saves and things that he did in the game. I was lucky enough to meet him a couple of times, he was a gentleman, a really nice guy. The word legend is thrown about but he is a true legend,” Lawrence said.
But what was his favourite memory of the legendary shot-stopper?
“It’s either the Pele save in the World Cup or the penalty save in the League Cup for Stoke, I think they are both iconic moments that will live long in the memory,” he said.
Stoke City manager Nathan Jones described the difficult week for the club, after their 0-0 draw with Wigan Athletic on Thursday evening.
“It is fitting we kept a clean sheet and Jack Butland kept a clean sheet in a week where we mourn the passing of a legend, a Stoke legend and an England legend. It has been a tough week for the football club, what we have had to go through on and off the pitch,” he said.