Gordon Banks funeral: Fans and mourners pay tribute

Gordon Banks funeral orderImage copyright PA
Image caption Gordon Banks died on 12 February aged 81

Gordon Banks’s funeral cortege was greeted with warm applause as it arrived at Stoke City’s ground earlier.

People stood five or six-deep in places on the pavements of Stoke-on-Trent to pay tribute to England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper.

The mood turned celebratory as the cortege passed through the bet365 Stadium, stopping at the dugout.

Banks’s achievements were displayed on the big screen as a chant of “England’s number one” broke out.

The ground was adorned with shirts, flags and even the odd pair of goalkeeping gloves.

‘Best ever keeper’

Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Bobby Charlton from the 1966 World Cup-winning squad were among the mourners.

Hurst said it was a “very sad day”, describing his former teammate as the “greatest goalkeeper we’ve had”.

The funeral started with a rendition of Abide with Me – a hymn synonymous with the FA Cup final.

The service at Stoke Minster was being held on the 47th anniversary of Stoke City’s 1972 League Cup final victory over Chelsea in which Banks played a leading role.

Banks’s coffin was carried by goalkeepers from his three ex-clubs; Stoke, Leicester City and Chesterfield.

The pallbearers were Stoke and England goalkeeper Jack Butland; Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel; Chesterfield keeper Joe Anyon; and England’s Joe Hart.

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Image caption Stoke and England goalkeeper Jack Butland (left), and England keeper Joe Hart, helped to carry the coffin into Stoke Minster, along with Kasper Schmeichel and Joe Anyon
Image copyright PA
Image caption Applause greeted the arrival of the funeral cortege at Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium

Banks, who died on 12 February aged 81, started his career at Chesterfield before joining Leicester City in 1959 for £7,000.

At Leicester he established himself as England’s number one, earning his first international cap in 1963 against Scotland.

In eight years at Leicester, he was runner-up in two FA Cup finals and won the League Cup in 1964, before joining Stoke in 1967.

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Image caption Veteran former goalkeepers (left to right) Pat Jennings, Ray Clemence and David Seaman were at the service
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Peter Shilton was at Leicester City at the same time as Banks, eventually taking over from him

He stayed at the Potters until his retirement from professional football, winning the League Cup again in 1972, the club’s only major honour.

Fifa named him goalkeeper of the year six times and earned 73 caps for England.

He played in every game of the 1966 World Cup campaign, culminating in the 4-2 victory over West Germany in the final at Wembley.

Hurst delivered a eulogy, describing Banks 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.”

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates told mourners: “We regard him as our adopted, famous son.

“He was fully integrated into the community at all levels and he was at home with us and we were at home with him.”

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Media captionSir Geoff Hurst pays tribute to Gordon Banks ahead of his funeral in Stoke-on-Trent
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Shops around the city showed their support

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Media captionGoalkeepers Jack Butland, Joe Anyon, Kasper Schmeichel and Joe Hart were pallbearers
Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Bobby Charlton arrives at the funeral with his wife

Banks’s daughter Wendy said the outpouring of love had been a comfort, adding: “It makes you feel very humble and proud all at the same time.”

“It was football, Match of the Day and laughs; I miss everything already,” she said.

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Media captionStoke City fans salute Gordon Banks as his funeral cortege arrives

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