Gordon Banks on his famous Pelé save: ‘I didn’t even realise I’d made it’

Gordon Banks, who has died aged 81, is often lauded as making the greatest save in history to deny Pelé at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. In 2003, he spoke to Observer Sport Monthly about it

That save from Pelé’s header was the best I ever made. I didn’t have any idea how famous it would become – to start with, I didn’t even realise I’d made it at all. I heard Pelé shout ‘goal’ as he headed it, which was followed by a massive, almost deafening, roar. Even though I’d got a hand to it, I thought he must have scored.

Then I realised the crowd were cheering for me. I couldn’t believe it. Bobby Moore came over and ruffled my hair – I like to tell people that he was having a go at me for not holding on to it! After all, our match against Brazil was still at 0-0 and we had a corner to defend. As I got to my feet I tried to look as nonchalant as possible, as if to say that I make that sort of save all the time.

Continue reading...

About the Author

Comments are closed.