Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Thursday, 17 January 2008

Pele will unveil statue of Banks

Gordon Banks playing for Stoke City in 1971
Gordon Banks played for Stoke City for five years

Brazilian legend Pele will unveil a statue of Stoke City and England goalkeeper Gordon Banks in the city this summer, it has been revealed.

The pair met in the 1970 World Cup when Banks made what is widely regarded as one of the greatest saves ever from a Pele header.

Now it has emerged the Brazilian will visit the city on 12 July to unveil the statue outside the Britannia Stadium.

World Cup winner Banks said he was "very, very honoured" by the tribute.

Banks, who played for Stoke City from 1967 to 1972, said: "I can't believe that it's actually happened to me.

"The nice part about this is that it will be a testament to all goalkeepers and goalkeepers that never got the recognition."

He added it was "marvellous" Pele was unveiling the statue as he remained the "best player I have ever seen".

Pele previously visited Stoke-on-Trent in 1969 when his side Santos played a friendly against Stoke City, winning 3-2, the Brazilian legend scoring twice past Banks.

The statue of the goalkeeper, who also played for Leicester City and Chesterfield during his career, is the brainchild of Irish author Don Mullen who has written a book about the star called The Hero Who Could Fly.

He is looking to raise 350,000 to pay for the statue which will be made by local artist Andrew Edwards.

Pele joins Sheffield celebrations
09 Nov 07 |  Football
Pele backs England World Cup bid
07 Nov 07 |  Football
Pele tops World Cup legends poll
12 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006


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