A Hero Who could fly-Gordon Banks-A História de uma Vida

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A Hero Who could fly-Gordon Banks-A História de uma Vida

Mensagem  Alfie em 2008-06-03, 4:15 pm



Gordon Banks OBE (30 de Dezembro de 1937, Sheffield, Reino Unido) é considerado um dos maiores Guarda-Redes do mundo de todos os tempos. Defendeu o Seleção Inglesa por 73 vezes entre 1963 e 1972. O mais célebre momento de sua carreira foi na Copa de 1970, defendendo uma cabeçada de Pelé. Em sua carreira em clubes ingleses passou por Chesterfield, Leicester e Stoke City, venceu por duas vezes a Copa da Inglaterra. Em 1972, um acidente automobilístico o fez perder parte da visão de um olho, o que praticamente encerrou sua carreira. Ainda assim jogou pelo Fort Lauderdale Strikers, dos Estados Unidos.

Versão Inglesa da sua Carreira:
Early years
Banks, born in Sheffield, was a careful student of goalkeepers during childhood. Banks played in local colliery football as a boy and was offered an apprenticeship by Chesterfield after initially going to work as a coal bagger and then as a bricklayer on leaving school.
After performances in the youth and A teams gained him promotion to the reserves, Banks was posted to Germany with the Royal Signals on National Service, winning the Rhine Cup with his regimental team. On his return he was offered a full-time contract by the Chesterfield manager, Ted Davison.
He reached the two-legged final of the FA Youth Cup with Chesterfield in 1956, losing 4-3 on aggregate to the Manchester United team of the famous Busby Babes. He made his debut for the first team at home in November 1958 against Colchester United in the newly formed Third Division. He played just 23 games for the club before First Division Leicester City offered Chesterfield 7,000 pounds in the summer of 1959.
Banks' career started to rise rapidly from this point. After 4 games for the reserves, he replaced the injured Dave McLaren for his Leicester City debut in a 1-1 draw against Blackpool on 9 September 1959 and retained his place for the 2-0 defeat against Newcastle 3 days later. With McLaren fit again, Banks was sent back to the reserves but, after the first team conceded 14 goals in the next 5 games, he was recalled and became the first-choice goalie for the remainder of the season.
In 1961, Leicester City beat Sheffield United to reach the FA Cup final at Wembley, the first of three they would manage that decade. Their opponents were Tottenham Hotspur, who were a cut above everyone else having won the First Division title with ease and style. Banks played well, but with the right back Len Chalmers carrying an injury, was powerless to prevent second half goals from Bobby Smith and Terry Dyson giving Spurs a 2-0 win and the first "double" of the 20th century.
At the time, Ron Springett was the goalkeeper for England, but after the 1962 World Cup in Chile, a new coach was appointed in former England right back Alf Ramsey. Ramsey demanded sole control of team and began looking towards the next World Cup. He knew that he just needed to find a squad for the final stages as England were hosting the event and didn't need to undergo a qualifying campaign. In goal, Banks was checked out by Ramsey for the first time in April 1963 against Scotland at Wembley. Though England lost 2-1, Banks gained plaudits and Ramsey was pleased with his performance. He played in 13 of the next 15 internationals, including a 1-1 draw against Brazil.
Meanwhile, a month after his international bow, Banks was back at Wembley with Leicester for another FA Cup final, this time against Manchester United. United were looking for their first trophy since the Munich air disaster of five years earlier which had claimed the lives of eight of the Busby Babes whom Banks had faced as an adolescent. Banks failed to hold a Bobby Charlton shot from distance which gave a chance to David Herd. After that things got worse for England's newest keeper, when Denis Law wrongfooted Banks with a smart shot on the turn to put United 2-0 ahead. After Leicester had pulled one back through a diving header from Ken Keyworth, Banks leapt high in the air to claim a high cross from Johnny Giles, only to drop the ball at Herd's feet. Herd scored his second to conclude a 3-1 win.
In 1964, Banks had some domestic success when Leicester beat Stoke City 4-3 in the League Cup final over two legs, though they lost the trophy a year later after a 3-2 defeat by Chelsea on aggregate in the final.
The 1966 World Cup
By 1965, Banks was indisputably the first-choice England goalkeeper. He was settling into the form of his life which would last for the next seven years; agile and alert, he was frequently seen making amazing reflex saves and possessed flawless positional sense and reading of attackers' movements and instincts.
When the World Cup began, Banks was in goal as England got through their group containing Uruguay, Mexico and France, drawing 0-0 with the former and clinching 2-0 victories over the latter. Banks wasn't greatly tested, but it was hugely encouraging that he emerged from the group with three clean sheets from three games, a trend that continued when England beat a physical Argentina side 1-0 in the last eight, with Geoff Hurst scoring with a header.

1966-1970
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Coming through the ranks at Leicester City was a young local goalkeeper called Peter Shilton, who was given his debut as a 17-year-old in 1966. It was clear that Shilton was something special, yet the man he had to displace was now regarded as the world's number one goalkeeper. When Shilton told Leicester he wouldn't sign a professional contract unless he was guaranteed first team football, Banks found himself available for transfer, just a year after winning the World Cup.
Banks joined Stoke City and maintained his England place, while Shilton lost in Leicester's third FA Cup final of the 1960s (the 1969 game against Manchester City) and began to make his name. Ramsey gave the odd chance to Chelsea keeper Peter Bonetti, Everton's Gordon West and Manchester United's Alex Stepney, but when the big games came along, it was only Banks. During this time, Gordon Banks moved to Madeley, Staffordshire. In one of the more bizarre episodes in football history, in 1967, Banks played a season for the Cleveland Stokers of the American United Soccer Association (USA). The USA was a short lived attempt to build a first division U.S. league by importing clubs from around the world to play as U.S. teams. The Stokers, with Banks, came to the U.S. where it played in Cleveland, Ohio. The Stokers ran to a 5-4-3 record.
England reached the last four of the 1968 European Championships where they lost to Yugoslavia in Florence. A year later, Banks picked up his 50th cap as England defeated Scotland 4-1 at Wembley. He played in nine more internationals prior to the start of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, for which England once again had not needed to qualify, this time owing to their status as holders.
Banks, who discovered just after arriving in Mexico that he had been awarded the OBE, played his 60th England game in the opening group victory over Romania before taking to the field for the keenly-awaited clash with Brazil. After just ten minutes, Banks wrote himself into football folklore.
The 1970 save against Pelé
Image describing Banks' save v Pelé in the 1970 World Cup, MexicoPlaying at pace, Brazil were putting England under enormous pressure and an attack was begun by captain Carlos Alberto who sent a fizzing low ball down the right flank for the speedy Jairzinho to latch on to. The Brazilian winger sped past left back Terry Cooper and reached the byline. Stretching slightly, he managed to get his toes underneath the fast ball and deliver a high but dipping cross towards the far post. Banks, like all goalkeepers reliant on positional sensibility, had been at the near post and suddenly had to turn on his heels and follow the ball to its back post destination.
Waiting for the ball was Pelé, who had arrived at speed and with perfect timing. He leapt hard at the ball above England right back Tommy Wright and thundered a harsh, pacy downward header towards Banks' near post corner. The striker, the world's greatest, shouted "Goal!" as he connected with the ball. Banks was still making his way across the line from Jairzinho's cross and in the split-second of assessment the incident allowed, it seemed impossible for him to get to the ball. He also had to dive slightly backwards and down at the same time which is almost physically impossible. Yet he hurled himself downwards and backwards and got the base of his thumb to the ball, with the momentum sending him cascading to the ground. It was only when he heard the applause and praise of captain Bobby Moore and then looked up and saw the ball trundling towards the advertising hoardings at the far corner, that he realised he'd managed to divert the ball over the bar - he'd known he got a touch but still assumed the ball had gone in. England were not being well received by the locals after cutting comments made about Mexico prior to the tournament by Ramsey, but spontaneous applause rang around the Guadalajara, Jalisco stadium as Banks got back into position to defend the resulting corner. Pelé, who'd begun to celebrate a goal when he headed the ball, would later describe the save as the greatest he'd ever seen.
Brazil still won 1-0 - Jairzinho guided a shot past Banks in the second half - but England missed chances to get something, with Jeff Astle infamously putting the ball wide of an open goal and Alan Ball striking the crossbar. England ultimately joined Brazil in the last eight after a win in the final group game against Czechoslovakia. The reward was a rematch of the 1966 final against West Germany.
England vs West Germany 1970
The day before the game Banks and England's hopes of making further inroads into the World Cup were dented when he started to complain of an upset stomach. He subsequently spent long periods in the bathroom and despite rest and medication, he did not seem to be recovering in time. But on the day of the game, he offered a glimmer of hope to Ramsey when he said he felt better and asked for a fitness test. He caught a few balls and did some short sprints but something was not right and Ramsey decided he couldn't risk him. Peter Bonetti was summoned to take his place. The overheard remark by Ramsey after Banks' absence from the game was confirmed as: "Of all the players to lose, we had to lose him."

Conspiracies began to surface that Banks had been "nobbled" by someone in England's hotel and that his food had been somehow spiked. This was dismissed by Banks, who watched the game on his hotel TV and saw England go 2-0 ahead. After another visit to the bathroom, he returned to his bed and, feeling rough and sleepy, switched off his TV set to take a nap, assuming the match was won. He was woken by his second understudy, Stepney, who came to his room to signal the devastating final score with his fingers. West Germany had beaten England 3-2.

England's No.1 (1970-1972)
Banks did not play in England's first game after the World Cup, with Ramsey electing to give his old understudy Shilton a debut against East Germany at Wembley. This would be a sign of things to come, but not for a little while. Banks would play in ten of the next 12 internationals as England tried to qualify for the 1972 European Championships but lost yet again to West Germany prior to the finals stage. During this period, Banks was also involved in a notorious incident with Manchester United's George Best who, while playing against England for Northern Ireland, flicked the ball out of Banks' hands and headed it into the net as the protesting goalkeeper chased him. The goal was disallowed for ungentlemanly conduct and England won 1-0, but Banks was left feeling rather embarrassed.
At club level, Banks came up with his second most famous save when spectacularly palming a vicious penalty from his England team-mate Hurst over the crossbar as Stoke defeated West Ham United in the semi final of the 1972 League Cup. Banks duly reached his third League Cup final and won it for the second time, when Stoke beat Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley. Having lost two FA Cup finals, Banks' attempts to be luckier with Stoke in the competition fell agonisingly short as Arsenal beat them in the semi finals of both the 1971 and 1972 competitions.
Banks played his 73rd England game in a 1-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park on 27th May 1972 and was awarded the Football Writers' Association Footballer Of The Year honour. He was 34-years-old and at the peak of his abilities and powers. He began the next season with Stoke in his usual unflappable manner, but then his top-flight career would be suddenly and violently brought to an end.
A new life
On 22 October 1972, while driving home from a session with the Stoke physiotherapist, Banks lost control of his car which ended up in a ditch. He lost consciousness and was rushed to hospital. When he came round, he was informed that though he had not suffered any life-threatening injury, he had lost the sight in his right eye. He considered trying to resume his career as a goalkeeper but even he had to accept that the loss of binocular vision was an obvious barrier to maintaining his goalkeeping livelihood. Shilton became England's number one and it was he whom Stoke bought in 1974 as Banks' long-term replacement.
Sheffield Walk of Fame
On Tuesday 9 May 2006, Gordon Banks was the first "legend" to be inducted into a new Walk of Fame, by having a plaque installed in the pavement in front of the Town Hall. Banks made a speech to an attendant crowd as to how thrilled he was to be given this honour. The plaque is made of bronze, and is a star set in a circle with a blue background, and the words "SHEFFIELD LEGEND" GORDON BANKS OBE. FOOTBALLER.

... we lived in an era when sporting heroes were ordinary and unassuming men whose very modesty was the oxygen of dreams. And across the water, on a neighbouring island with whom we Irish had been at war for centuries I had a hero who could fly. His name is GORDON BANKS. From being a timid, fearful young boy he taught me that impossible doesn't exist. Unknown to him he helped save a young fan from making choices that had brought too much sorrow and sadness to Irish and British alike. Who knows? Perhaps it was his best save ever.

Honours
World Cup: 1966

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