Everton Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of England World Cup winning great Gordon Banks.
Banks, who played 73 times for his country and is widely recognised as one of English football's finest goalkeepers, has died aged 81.
He had a stellar 19-year club career, most notably with Leicester City and Stoke City, after starting with Chesterfield in 1958.
Born in Sheffield on December 30, 1937, Banks was twice a League Cup winner, with Leicester in 1964 and eight years later at Stoke.
The pinnacle of his career came on July 30 1966 when England beat West Germany at Wembley to win the World Cup. He is responsible for one of the most iconic World Cup moments, too, a spectacular save from Brazilian Pele during a match at the 1970 tournament in Mexico.
Banks was FIFA's Goalkeeper of the Year for six straight years from 1966 and in 1972 was named Football Writer's Association [FWA] Footballer of the Year.
Everton's most decorated goalkeeper Neville Southall, the last number one to claim the FWA prize when he was honoured in 1985, called Banks "a true legend... the perfect goalkeeper".
He said: "Gordon was easy going and a perfectionist. He had a fantastic temperament for big games.
"He wasn’t a shouter or screamer, he just did his job with incredible efficiency.
"For me he was the perfect goalkeeper."
Southall worked with Banks for a period in the late 1980s and added: "To get to train with him, the first couple of weeks I was going home and saying, ‘I can’t believe he is training me’.
"It was fantastic and I was thinking, 'What an opportunity to sit and talk about football with him'.
"Then to train with him was an education you could not buy.
"It was a pleasure to go to work on the days he was there."
Current Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford also paid tribute to Banks and described the Yorkshireman's breathtaking stop from Pele as "one of the greatest saves of all time".