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BEST EVER ENGLISH KEEPER
on 2 December 2002
...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.