Stoke City paid an emotional tribute to club legend Gordon Banks on Saturday afternoon, with current Potters ‘keeper, Jack Butland wearing a special edition shirt for the visit of Aston Villa.
Gordon Banks, England’s heroic 1966 World Cup winning goalkeeper, passed away peacefully in his sleep earlier this month at the age of 81.
Famous for his performances in the Three Lions’ yellow goalkeeper’s jersey and for his spectacular save to deny Pelé at the 1970 World Cup, Banks is widely considered to be among the finest goalkeepers to have graced the game.
On Saturday afternoon, fellow Stoke City and England goalkeeper Jack Butland wore a one-off plain green top based on the shirt Banks wore for the Potters in the 1972 League Cup Final.
The tribute shirt by Macron carried no sponsor’s logos or club badge, purely a white number 1 on the back and a subtle inscription to honour the man who played close to 200 games in goal for the Potters between 1967 and 1972.
Sheffield-born “Banksy” began his playing career at Chesterfield before moving to Leicester City, where his form for the Foxes’ propelled him onto the international stage and recognition from FIFA, who awarded him their Goalkeeper of the Year prize 6 times in a row between 1966 and 1971.
Banks’ spell at Stoke City was tragically cut short when he lost the sight of one eye in a car crash, but that didn’t stop him returning to the game in the United States with Fort Lauderdale Strikers where he again picked up individual performance accolades.
Finished with socks and shorts in plain white, Macron’s tribute to Gordon Banks was a throwback to an era of far simpler goalkeeping shirts and the days before garish shirts became a means to distracting oncoming strikers.
An elegant and fitting tribute to a man who was a humble and modest hero for club and country, there was only ever one contender for our latest Kit of the Week title.
Gordon Banks OBE (30 December 1937 – 12 February 2019)
Jack Butland and Stoke City played out a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at the Bet365 Stadium.
All pictures courtesy of http://www.stokecityfc.com, except attributed Jack Butland image to Action Images/Reuters.