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Banksy: My Autobiography [Hardcover]

Gordon Banks
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
Price: 16.14 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 Sep 2002
For ten years Gordon Banks was widely acknowledged to be the best goalkeeper in the world, and, perhaps, the best there's ever been. Along with players like Bobby Moore, Banks was first on Sir Alf Ramsey's teamsheet - England's number one in both 1966 and 1970. But in his prime, months after being named 1972 Footballer of the Year, it was all cut short when Banks lost an eye in a car crash. He defied medical opinion by fighting his way back onto the football field ending his career playing with other legends like Pele, George Best and Franz Beckenbauer in the fledgeling North American League. This book is the story of a genuine English hero and an account of England's finest footballing years.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; 1st edition (26 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718145828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718145828
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 506,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BEST EVER ENGLISH KEEPER 2 Dec 2002
By A Customer
...and quite possibly the best ever in the world. As an impressionable six year old I began collecting stickers for my Mexico '70 World Cup album. One of the England players caught my
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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banksy 5 Jan 2004
By A Customer
An awe inspiring tale of the greatest goalkeeper ever to stand between the sticks. Gentleman Gordon tells of his childhood and throughout his career in football which has gone through more than its share of ups and downs, from Chesterfield through to Stoke City and beyond.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars what a keeper 21 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A really good read , was always my fav. keeper back in the day. Can watch the save from PELE till the cows come home. Why we (man utd ) didn`t sign him (sorry Alex ) in the 60`s beyond me. Was a treat to watch him in action from the stretford end terraces. Comes across as a very modest well grounded guy . Also saw him watching UTD from the stretford end when Eric ruled in the 90`s hope he wasn`t paying for his ticket ! should have asked for his autograph.

NB well what do you know , out of world cup after two games - Gordon Banks WORLD CLASS - Rooney Gerard never.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Banking on good read! 25 Jun 2013
By Noddie
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Have been reliving the times of the golden era of English football by reading what our World Cup winning team have to say of the times,
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