- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; First Edition edition (26 Sept. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0718145828
- ISBN-13: 978-0718145828
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.9 x 24.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 417,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Banksy: My Autobiography
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Gordon Banks would take the No 1 shirt in many people's all-time world's best XI, but as told in Banksy: My Autobiography, the "cat" who had even Pele shaking his head in admiration, struggled against illness and accident during his career, and found the going tough once he'd hung up his gloves. The England mainstay, whose 17-year career in British football was spent with just three clubs, reflects on a very different game than today's big-money business. As Banks tells it, goalkeeping was a different business too--no gloves, no Kevlar-reinforced elbow pads, half the domestic season played in ankle deep mud, and very little official protection from the marauding centre forwards who prided themselves on serving the keeper a full mid-air body check early in a game. Wits and courage mattered, as much as technique, and with goalkeeping coaches unheard of, Banks recalls that he was forced to learn his craft out on the pitch--not always with success.
He became a master, of course, whose exploits are part of the game's folklore--the save-of-all-time against Brazil in 1970; George Best flicking the ball out of his hands to "score" in 1971; the 1972 car crash that robbed him of sight in one eye, and that 1966 World Cup triumph. There's humour too, notably the episode when, furthering his playing career in the emerging US super league, Banks is examined by a Stateside club doctor, who struggles with the idea that an athlete who's got several metal plates in his body, can't quite touch his toes, and has no vision in one eye, could really by an asset to the team--let alone a goalkeeping great.
But whatever plaudits Banks received as a player, retirement was far from plain sailing. An ill-fated career in management followed, which ended in farce when Telford United dismissed Banks, but unwilling, or unable to pay off the remains of his contract, tried to force the World Cup hero to resign by assigning him to sell raffle tickets from a concession booth the club leased in a local supermarket. Happier times were to follow, notably as a member of the Pools Panel, but this part of the Banks' story, including his decision to sell off his 1966 winner's medal and memorabilia, is largely glossed over--an absence that is a poignant counterpoint to his reflections on the glory years. --Alex Hankin
Banksy is the story of a genuine English hero and a stirring, insider's account of England's finest years.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
eye...his distinctive looks and bright green goalie's top did the trick. I liked the look of this chap so much that I adopted his club side as my own and although I grew out of my affection for Stoke City but have always rated Gordon Banks as the best goalkeeper I ever saw. The honesty and modesty of the man is evident in these pages and he spends as much time describing the shots he failed to make as on those he did. "That" save against Pele is discussed of course but Gordon's personal favourite appears to be a penalty save from Geoff Hurst in a League Cup semi final in 1971-72. The World Cup of 1966 is the centre piece of the book as might be expected and Banks gives us an interesting perspective on those legendary events. The detail of his career and life post '66 ( and especially after the ill-fated
defence of the World Cup in 1970 ) is sketchy compared to the story of his rise from a working class Tinsley street to the heights of the World Cup but all in all its an entertaining read.
His treatment by Leicester City during season 1966-67 has to be read to be believed and the account of local hostility during the 1970 World Cup Finals is an eye opener too. Mostly though its the story of a very human, very likeable man who scaled the heights in his chosen profession through his own natutal talent plus a great deal of hard work. He deserves our respect and for us to read his story.
Throughout all this he talks about the constant need to keep improving and to learn more about the physics of goalkeeping which till then had been ignored. Despite his knocks and injuries including the loss of sight in one eye his love for the game and dedication shows what can be accomplished if you put your mind to it.
The book in my mind talks about a golden era in English football when sportmanship was more important that money and winning, tragically something that has been lost in todays game.
NB well what do you know , out of world cup after two games - Gordon Banks WORLD CLASS - Rooney Gerard never.