Ex-Sunderland goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery pays tribute to England legend and good friend Gordon Banks

World Cup winner Gordon Banks passed away at the age of 81.
World Cup winner Gordon Banks passed away at the age of 81.
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Former Sunderland goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery has paid tribute to England legend Gordon Banks, who has died at the age of 81.

Regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of all time, Banks made 73 international appearances for his country and played every game at the 1966 World Cup, which culminated with a 4-2 win over West Germany in the final.

"Banksy was just phenomenal, as a goalkeeper and as a man." Ex-Sunderland goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery.

"Banksy was just phenomenal, as a goalkeeper and as a man." Ex-Sunderland goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight," said Banks' family after his passing on Tuesday morning.

"We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him."

Montgomery knew Banks well following their time together with England and during their playing days.

The pair still kept in touch and remained good friends following retirement.

"Banksy was the best in my era and far beyond that," said Montgomery.

"You look at goalkeepers now and you've got to be 6 ft 4 before you're even considered.

"I look at my ear and everyone in our era wouldn't get a game these days, Banks, Bonetti, Shilton, there was nobody over 6 foot really.

"But Banksy was just phenomenal, as a goalkeeper and as a man."

Montgomery also remembers sharing a room with Banks when the pair were on England duty, an experience he'll never forget.

"I always remember, I nearly got a cap for England, when Banksy played up at Sunderland at got injured on the Saturday and played on the Wednesday, I believe it was against France.

"He played that night and I think we beat France 5-0, I remember I was in the same room which for me was absolutely awesome.

"Fantastic keeper and a fantastic man.

"We spoke on numerous occasions and he was just a lovely man and just so humble."