It was a moment that would go down in football history. During the 1970 World Cup finals, English goalkeeper Gordon Banks flew to the right to block a formidable header from the world's greatest football player, Pelé. Regarded as one of the most spectacular saves of all time, this nail-biting moment not only inspired hope in millions of sports fans around the world, but forged an unlikely friendship between the two rivals.
In 2015, we had the honour of meeting the six-time FIFA goalkeeper of the year when he co-signed our limited edition artwork, 'The Greatest Save', alongside Pelé. Captured within this monochrome diptych is the very moment Gordon Banks illustrated the courage that the three lions on the English football shirt symbolises. Following the historic save, the duo became firm friends, with Pelé writing on Facebook following Gordon's passing that: 'I am glad he saved my header - because that act was the start of a friendship between us that I will always treasure'.
For a generation of football fans who today lost a hero, it is a moment that will continue to live on in the hearts of many.
"While it was indeed phenomenal, my memory of Gordon is not defined by that (goal) - it is defined by his friendship. Yes, you were a goalkeeper with magic. But you were also so much more. You were a fine human being."
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© Copyright Washington Green Retail Limited trading as Castle Fine Art. First published 2012, last updated 2019. Washington Green Retail Limited acts as a credit broker and offers credit products from Secure Trust Bank PLC trading as V12 Retail Finance.
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