This Weekend the Nation Will Applaud

There will be an outpouring of respect at clubs across the country this weekend as a tribute to Gordon Banks who sadly passed away this week.

As news broke on Tuesday morning there followed a wave of grief, not least from Port Vale players and fans where they were honoured to have Banks as their coach, and what a wealth of knowledge and inspiration he brought with him.

Freetips.com has been informed that the club has confirmed that they will be holding a minutes applause before the match this weekend as the team take on Morecambe, and perhaps fittingly this will be a home game, on a pitch he came to know and love.

After retiring in 1973, he took on the role of coachas many ex-players do, and was appointed at Port Vale in 1977 by then manager Dennis Butler. Banks made a significant impact on everyone that he came into contact with.

It is safe to say the goalkeeper is a true legend of the English game who will be greatly missed. There is no comment yet as to whether players will be wearing black armbands, but it is certainly within the realms of possibility for this national legend that help England bring home the World Cup for the, so far, one and only time in 1966. The 4-2 victory against West Germany was made even more memorable by the fact that England was also the host nation for the year. It is a year which will etched into the memory of every England football fan. 

In 1970 Banks once more became the talk of the World Cup during a match when England was playing Brazil. It looked to be a foregone conclusion when Pele header powered towards the back of the goal. Banks was stranded on the opposite post after the ball had been unexpectedly been crossed at the last moment. Never one to shirk the challenge and determined as ever to defend his goal he pulled off a remarkable dive from one side to the other and somehow managed to change the direction of the ball with just his fingertips. Sending it flying safely over the bar to the joyous cheers of the England fans and the groans of disappointment from Brazil, whose fans were well aware that had any other goalie been there that day they may well have been home and dry – but not Banks.

In his playing career which spanned from 1959 to 1973, he earned a admirable 73 England caps, took to the field in more than 600 league games and was named Fifa Goalkeeper of the Year on six different occasions. He was a true inspiration to many young hopefuls, some who went onto becoming household names in their own right.

Players that were coached by him at Port Vale will be feeling the loss this week and will be forever grateful to have spent time under the instruction of this legendary player.

Tributes have flooded in from far and wide, and one thing is sure, Banks was loved by all that met him. He will be missed.

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