LONDON (Reuters) – Gordon Banks, one of football’s all-time great goalkeepers, has announced that he is being treated for kidney cancer for a second time at the age of 77.
Banks, England’s goalkeeper in their 1966 World Cup-winning campaign, told the Sunday Mirror newspaper that he was having chemotherapy treatment in the hope of avoiding a transplant, a decade since he lost one kidney to cancer.
“I am one of many in the country who have it,” Banks told the newspaper. “I have to battle on.”
The former Stoke City goalkeeper is famed for making what is still hailed by many as football’s greatest save, when he clawed away Pele’s goalbound header with impressive agility in the 1970 World Cup match between England and Brazil.
“People still talk about the save and I often think about it,” Banks said. “If I could make a save like the one against Pele, while playing against the greatest in the world, then I will be able to battle through this health problem.”
(Reporting by Ian Chadband; editing by Clare Fallon)