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Top 20 England players of all time - #5

Sports Mole's countdown of the top 20 England players of all time continues with number five - Gordon Banks.

Gordon Banks (73 caps, no goals)

Former England international footballer Gordon Banks waves to the fans ahead of the English League Cup fourth round football match between Stoke City and Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on October 27, 2015.© Getty Images

One of very few English players who can hold a legitimate claim to being the best in their position in world football history, Gordon Banks established himself as one of the leading goalkeepers throughout the 1960s and beyond.

Banks was brought into the England fold by Alf Ramsey in 1963 and soon became the team's undisputed number one despite competition from the likes of Ron Springett and Peter Bonetti.

There was never any doubt that the 'Banks of England' would be between the sticks for the 1966 World Cup, and the shot-stopper did not concede a single goal in the tournament until Eusebio scored from the penalty spot in England's 2-1 semi-final win over Portugal.

Two more goals followed in the final against West Germany, but Geoff Hurst's hat-trick at the other end, along with a Martin Peters strike, ensured that England lifted the Jules Rimet trophy for the first and so far only time.

It was at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico that Banks had his most iconic moment, though, producing a save which many believe to be the greatest ever when he flicked Pele's powerful downward header over the crossbar whilst the Brazilian striker was wheeling away to celebrate what he thought was a certain goal.

Banks was still the number one for club and country when his career was prematurely ended by a car crash which cost him the sight in one of his eyes, but he had already done enough to establish himself as one of the all-time greats of football.

During his 73 appearances for England, Banks kept 35 clean sheets and was on the losing side just nine times, but there was not as much success at club level, with the former Leicester City and Stoke City man winning just two League Cup crowns during his career.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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