England’s iconic World Cup winners were among a star-studded cast of mourners today as thousands of people lined the streets of Stoke to pay their final respects to goalkeeper Gordon Banks.
The Boys of ’66, including Sir Bobby Charlton, his brother Jack and hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst, gathered at Stoke Minster this afternoon to celebrate the life of Banks following his death at the age of 81 on February 12.
In a touching tribute, Banks’ coffin will be carried into the minster by the current number one goalkeepers of all three clubs he served during his illustrious career.
The service, which is by invitation only, will also be shown on a big screen at Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium, where club captain Ryan Shawcross and team-mates Joe Allen, Bruno Martins Indi, Charlie Adam, Tom Edwards and Mame Diouf will form a guard of honour along with members of the 1972 side.
England’s 1966 hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst (left) was among the mourners today as thousands of people lined the streets of Stoke today as the city paid its final respects to World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks
Former England footballer Sir Bobby Charlton (middle) attends the funeral of 1966 World Cup winner Gordon Banks today
Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton arrives at the Stoke funeral to pay his respects to his predecessor Gordon Banks
Shown left, England World Cup hero Jack Charlton arrives at the service, as does former England goalkeepers Ray Clemence and David Seaman
The funeral cortege of footballer Gordon Banks makes it’s way past the bet365 Stadium, as supporters lined the streets to pay their respects
In a touching tribute, Banks’ coffin will be carried into the minster by the current number one goalkeepers of all three clubs he served during his illustrious career
Burnley Goalkeeper Joe Hart (middle) and Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (right) arrive for the funeral service for Gordon Banks
Gordon Banks’s funeral cortege arrives at Stoke’s Bet365 Stadium ahead of the legendary England goalkeeper’s funeral today
Fans decked out in their Stoke City kits and scarves applauded as the procession made its way through the stadium today
Former England goalkeepers Pat Jennings, Ray Clemence and David Seaman (shown left to right) make their way into Stoke Minster this afternoon
Fans will have an opportunity to say their own farewells as the funeral cortege passes along a 10-mile route through the city.
And prior to this afternoon’s service, a five-car funeral cortege passed through Stoke’s Bet365 Stadium, stopping at the pitchside dugout for a few minutes, to sustained applause from the assembled crowd.
The various achievements of Banks, who also won the League Cup with Stoke and Leicester, were displayed on the big screen as a chant of ‘England’s number one’ broke out.
Thousands of people lined the streets of Stoke as the city paid its final respects to England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks
Tributes are left at the Gordon Banks statue outside Stoke City’s Bet365 Stadium today, as thousands gathered in the city to pay their gratitudes on his funeral day
Stoke City fans gather inside the Bet365 Stadium to watch their hero’s funeral on the ground’s big screen this afternoon
Football fans pay their respects in memory of Gordon Banks at the bet365 Stadium ahead of the former Stoke City and England goalkeeping legend’s funeral
Members of the British Army also formed their own guard of honour at the Minster in a nod to Banks’ two years of service in the Royal Corps of Signals before his football career took off.
Sheffield-born Banks made 510 league appearances for Chesterfield, Leicester and Stoke, but it was on the international stage that he established himself as a star, winning 73 senior caps, most famously in the 4-2 World Cup final victory over West Germany in 1966.
However, he will probably be best remembered for his heroics in Mexico four years later when he made the breathtaking save which was to define his career when he somehow managed to turn Brazil star Pele’s header over the crossbar.
Stoke City fans are pictured as they gather at a mass tribute to Gordon Banks outside the Potters’ Bet265 Stadium today
The statue of Gordon Banks outside Stoke’s stadium, which shows him lifting the Jules Rimet trophy into the air, is adorned with scarfs
Sheffield-born Banks made 510 league appearances for Chesterfield, Leicester and Stoke, but it was on the international stage that he established himself as a star, winning 73 senior caps