Jones Pays Banks Tribute

Nathan Jones

STOKE CITY manager Nathan Jones has paid his own personal tribute to Club president Gordon Banks.

The 81-year-old, who enjoyed a hugely successful career at domestic and international level, sadly passed away overnight.

The goalkeeper lifted the World Cup with England in 1966 and helped the Potters claim their only major honour in 1972 win the League Cup triumph over Chelsea.

Talking at his pre-match press conference, Jones spoke highly of the footballing great as the Club, city and country mourn his loss.

“It’s a very sad day for everyone at the football club and all our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this tough time,” Jones expressed on Tuesday afternoon.

“I know that he had a battle with illness for a little while but it’s very sad when these things happen.

“On a personal level it’s sad because we were planning on going to see him which would have been great for me to meet such a Stoke City, England and all-round footballing legend.

“In British football history you are well aware of the likes of Bobby Moore, George Best, Bobby Charlton, Gordon Banks, Stanley Matthews, Tom Finney. They are all icons of the British game and known worldwide, not just nationally or locally.

“You only have to mention Gordon’s save and everyone knows what you mean, it’s self-explanatory. That type of thing doesn’t happen very often nowadays or it isn’t talked about as much as then.

“It’s a sad time but I always try to look on the positives and I think the Club, community and family can look back on someone who had a wonderful career and life, and brought joy, inspiration and help to so many people.”

He added: “I’ve only been here for just a short while but I know clearly the legacy he leaves as one of the outstanding goalkeepers in world football, let alone in the history of Stoke City or England.

“He won’t just do down as a legend for winning the World Cup, but also because of the way he was on a day to day basis – he was a fantastic professional, goalkeeper, gentleman, and all-round lovely man away from football.

“He is one of those people who no one has a bad word about and that’s a testament to his character, family and the way he conducted himself.”