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Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 14:42 UK

Stoke to host Banks versus Pele

Gordon Banks
Banks was part of the Stoke side that won the League Cup in 1972 (Getty)

A Gordon Banks XI and a Pele XI will meet in a charity game at Stoke's Britannia Stadium to mark the unveiling of a statue of the ex-England keeper.

Brazil legend Pele will unveil the statue of Banks, who made 194 appearances for Stoke, on 12 July.

"I'm very proud that someone has seen fit to do this on my behalf," Banks told BBC Radio Stoke.

"I'm honoured and flattered. I just wish my mother and father were here to see it."

The match will no doubt conjure up memories of Banks's famous save from a Pele header at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu will also be in attendance, acting as assistant manager to the Pele XI to celebrate Banks's charity work in Africa.

"I hope it's not an omen, normally they only put up statues of people that are dead," joked Banks.

Stoke City chief executive Tony Scholes said: "Stoke City are honoured to be able to locate the statue of Gordon Banks here at the Britannia Stadium.

"The charity match will be a wonderful festival and will raise awareness and money for all the causes involved on the day."

Banks, who played for Stoke between 1966 and 1972, said: "It would be absolutely fantastic if the statue can come at the same time that Stoke City get promoted back to the top flight."

Banks was part of England's World Cup-winning team in 1966 and won 73 international caps.

He also played for Chesterfield and Leicester in addition to Stoke and ended his career in the USA.

In March 2004 Pele named Banks as one of the top 125 living footballers in a list compiled to mark world football's governing body Fifa's centenary.


see also
Pele will unveil statue of Banks
17 Jan 08 |  Staffordshire


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