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  1. ITV Report

Funeral takes place of England goalkeeper Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks passed away at the age of 81 on February 12.

Thousands of people have paid their respects to England goalkeeper Gordon Banks OBE, whose funeral took place today.

Fans who had lined the streets of Stoke and gathered at the bet365 Stadium applauded the footballing legend as the cortège passed through.

Mr Banks, who is highly regarded as one of England's best ever goalies, passed away last month at the age of 81. He started his career at Chesterfield, before moving onto Leicester City and Stoke City.

He will now be laid to rest after a 90 minute service at Stoke Minster. Not by coincidence, his funeral took place on the 47th anniversary of Stoke's League Cup triumph.

Thousands of people lined the route of the cortège and in the bet365 Stadium to pay their respects to Gordon Banks. Credit: PA

Four goalkeepers representing the teams he played for carried his coffin. They were; Kasper Schmeichel representing Leicester; Jack Butland representing Stoke; Joe Anyon representing Chesterfield; and Joe Hart representing England.

Leading the tributes to Mr Banks, Jack Butland said it was an 'incredible service' that he was honoured to be part of.

He told ITV News: "It's a personal honour to be part of today. Today was an incredible, incredible service for him and everything that was put together was top drawer and very fitting of a worthy person."

Sir Geoff Hurst delivered a moving eulogy in which he referred to his World Cup-winning team-mate as 'a superstar on the field, but off the field he was an ordinary guy with no airs or graces'.

He added: "He was a joker, a funny man, for over 50 years and every time we met during our careers or years after he would come up and joke. Banksy, rest in peace. We love you and we miss you."

Today was an incredible, incredible service for him and everything that was put together was top drawer and very fitting of a worthy person.

– Jack Butland
Gordon Banks made more than 670 appearances during a 20-year professional career. Credit: PA
Four goalkeepers representing the teams he played for carried Gordon Banks' coffin. Credit: PA

Mr Banks' status as an all-time great was sealed at the 1966 World Cup, where he started every game. But he's perhaps most famous for saving Pelé's World Cup header in 1970. This spectacular stop in a group-stage clash in Mexico is widely regarded as one of the greatest saves of all time.

In 1972, Mr Banks was involved in a car crash. He lost his sight in his right eye and retired from football the following summer. He later went on to join American side Fort Lauderdale Strikers, before coaching Stoke, Port Vale and Telford. Stoke City named him as club president in 2002.

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