Gordon Banks is to date the only World Cup winner to have represented Leicester at the time when it happened and also being one of the most honoured and special players ever to appear for the club.
On the 4th of April 1967 it was all over for Gordon Banks at Leicester, keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at home v. Leeds. Banks joined Stoke for a fee of £52.000 and kept his career going for both his new club and still the ultimate first choice for Sir Alf Ramsey and England.
We all know the story of Banksy and his future after Leicester, but we will concentrate on that last game v. Leeds. It all ended 0-0 and in the line-up was the following, Banks, Rodrigues, Norman, Nish, Cross, Goodfellow, Stringfellow, Roberts, Matthews, Gibson, Sinclair. The crowd was of only 15 437.
Leicester finished 8th with Banks and his new club Stoke a few places below in 12th, Leeds the opponent on the day finished 4th. Tottenham defeated Chelsea in the FA Cup final. Queens Park Rangers winners of the League Cup.
Gordon Banks was given the chance to move under a year after winning the World Cup, and we all know the reason why, a certain Peter Shilton came knocking on the door for first team action and Matt Gillies decided to go for the younger alternative.
He would later play with Jimmy Greenhoff at Stoke who was in the Leeds line-up for the game. Leeds had the following team, Sprake, Reaney, Madeley, Bremner, Bell, Hunter, Giles, Belfitt, Greenhoff, Gray, Cooper.
Banks played a number of games together with Madeley, Reaney, Hunter and Cooper all of them representing England. But as we all do see the highlighted years of Gordon Banks at Leicester and Stoke, he also represented a number of other clubs on his journey in football.
Banks represented clubs in South Africa, USA and Ireland during his days in football and of course played many of his opponents time and time again with his only performance for St. Patrick Athletic against Shamrock Rovers really one of a kind.
The year was 1977 and Barry Bridges, at the time manager of St. Patrick’s Athletic, in need of a goalkeeper as his regular man was injured and bumping into Gordon Banks at Heathrow Airport telling him the story with Gordon coming up with the idea that he could do the job if the money was ok.
It was quickly arranged and Gordon Banks turned up for his only game in Irish football doing a terrific save in the last minute securing a 1-0 win for his team with a full house and more as people just turned up in stables to watch this massive star appear for their home town club.
Johnny Giles came up against Gordon Banks many times as a player and mostly in games for Leeds when he played Leicester and Stoke, but also playing against Banks in this game as he was the player manager and star of the Shamrock Rovers team.
This did become the unlikely episode and appearance in a game involving both Gordon’s last game for Leicester and his strange reconnection with one of the players on the field in this Irish adventure.
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