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Our Greatest Ever Player Has Died
#1
He may have only played 23 times for us but Gordon Banks must just wrest the title of the best player ever to play for Chesterfield from an earlier England keeper, Sam Hardy.

Amazingly Gordon was with Chesterfield for five years and only made the first team in his final season. He did, however, help us to the Final of the FA Youth Cup, which would represent a miracle these days. The man who kept Banks out of the first team all that time was Ron Powell who we got from Manchester City ...... and who would have made 500 appearances for us had it not been for Gordon Banks and the car crash which killed centre forward Ralph Hunt.

Lev Yashin achieved the accolade of being the twentieth century's best goalkeeper and Lev was truly great, but no one but Gordon Banks was that good. I saw them both and, like Lev, Banks had everything plus that sprinkle of stardust which distinguishes very few sportsmen. That was the reason he was able to come up with that save from Pele.

When England won the World Cup people point to a whole host of reasons that Alf Ramsey's team was able to come out on top. To my mind, however, that team was vastly unusual in having the two greatest anticipators I've ever seen. Bobby Moore read a game so well that he was wherever the danger lay before it was even a danger and Gordon Banks read so much into what was happening he rarely had to make a save like that he pulled off four years later from Pele. His feet were quick, his mind was quicker and his hands were the safest of safe. Reaching that ball from Pele's downward header demonstrated how much Banks's mind could take in within an instant. If it were an artwork it would be the equivalent of the B of the Bang. It should be outside the Proact in glass.

Gordon, you were the best. I shook Sam Hardy's hand when I was a little boy and was silently amazed to be told he was the best who'd ever lived. I wish I'd had the opportunity to say how completely brilliant I thought you were at something I spent years trying hard to do well.
spireitematt, Dancingwilldoit, Lord Snooty And 2 others like this post
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#2
Banks and Shilton are probably the best goalkeepers that played for England.

Everyone thought Hart would be a great keeper but since the Euro's in 2016 he has seemed to have lost his form. Pickford had a great World Cup in 2018 but has made several mistakes in the league for Everton.
CHESTERFIELD PREDICTION LEAGUE WINNER 2015/2016

More to Football than the Premier League and SKY
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#3
I've always liked Joe Hart but he just doesn't deserve to be in the same sentence, or even paragraph, as.

Gordon Banks.
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#4
(12-02-2019, 19:45)Devongone Wrote: I've always liked Joe Hart but he just doesn't deserve to be in the same sentence, or even paragraph, as.

Gordon Banks.

You can't compare the two. Gordon Banks was a top goalkeeper. Bob Wilson compares De Gea to Gordon Banks.

A question you could answer Dev, Dancing or SaltergateBorn. Is the game quicker now than it was 30-40 years ago? and is it better today?
CHESTERFIELD PREDICTION LEAGUE WINNER 2015/2016

More to Football than the Premier League and SKY
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#5
(13-02-2019, 20:06)spireitematt Wrote:
(12-02-2019, 19:45)Devongone Wrote: I've always liked Joe Hart but he just doesn't deserve to be in the same sentence, or even paragraph, as.

Gordon Banks.

You can't compare the two. Gordon Banks was a top goalkeeper. Bob Wilson compares De Gea to Gordon Banks.

A question you could answer Dev, Dancing or SaltergateBorn. Is the game quicker now than it was 30-40 years ago? and is it better today?

Yes the game is quicker. The ball has been changing rapidly since I was in my teens. The equipment is different. When I got a pair of thin, green, cotton goalkeeping gloves I thought that they were the height of professionalism. The boots are now lightweight flexible shoes full of feel. Shinpads used to bulk your legs out so much you felt like you were running on someone else's legs. And the pitches at every level are better. Derby County used to play some amazing football on the shit-heap of the Baseball Ground.

Bob Wilson is a nice guy and very honest, but not always the sharpest of knives. De Gea has neither Bank's ease of movement, nor his anticipation. He's very very good and getting better, but no, he might make the same paragraph. Never the same sentence as Gordon Banks.

Goalkeeping now is a whole different thing to my day. Now a keeper is a blocker, a kicker and a distributor. In my day he was a handler, a director and an initiator. Sir Alf Ramsey would've killed Gordon Banks if he'd caught him doing a Cruyff turn before providing a lay-off to his centre-back.
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#6
Not sure the game itself is faster Dev. The balls maybe when compared to an old leather ball but the game these days seems to be played in short bursts. Quite often when a player lays the ball of he slows to walking pace and ambles upfield. The players around the ball seem to keep up with play whilst others take it steady.
The old fashioned wingers used to cover miles in a game with the inside forwards not far behind.
Big Bore Exhaust = Small Dick
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#7
The players are much fitter now. When you used to get a fully-fit ripped individual in the lower leagues he absolutely stood out. Albert Holmes for us used to look almost like an alien invader; he had muscles where his mates had flesh.

They play the ball quicker these days, they attuned to one touch and there sadly just aren't the dribblers holding on to the ball. Players stats are all known and collated these days too. It would be simply amazing if on better pitches with better training and better, more responsive equipment the game wasn't quicker. And old pros all seem to think it is quicker than in their day.

Add to that keepers being unable to pick the ball up from a back pass. You couldn't half give your team some breathing space by first rolling it out to your full back, getting it back, giving the whole pitch a lengthy perusal before getting rid. Taking the wind out of an attacking team's sails was much easier.
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#8
And yet you didn't get that many 0-0 draws. Teams went out to win. I'll let you comment on ripped men but its only the last couple of years that modern day players have spent as much time in the gym as they do on the training ground
Big Bore Exhaust = Small Dick
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#9
All of us who are of a `certain age` know that time can play tricks on the memory and that it`s easy to look at the past through rose-tinted glasses. I`ve certainly done it more than a few times. To me, though, the game is definitely quicker than it used to be. Players used to have far more time on the ball than they have now and weren`t asked to carry out both defensive and attacking duties to the same extent. This demands a far greater level of fitness but perhaps reduces the emphasis on individual skill. I can remember stories of very well-known players smoking a couple of fags at half-time as matter of course; I don`t think they`d get away with that now.

Whether that means the game is `better` depends on how you define the word. Like beauty, the answer to that one lies in the eye of the beholder. Personally (although please bear in mind the above) I think the game was more entertaining 50 years ago than it is now. It was certainly more direct – you didn`t see the ball being passed backwards and forwards along the half-way line for minutes on end the way you do now – but I`m sure that tactically the game has moved forward in leaps and bounds over the last few decades. In just about every sport where performances (world records etc) can be compared objectively in terms of speed, height, distance and so on, levels of achievement now are far higher than they were and it seems to me to be completely illogical to think that in those where they can`t – like football and cricket, for example – they have stood still or gone backwards. Does that mean the game is `better`?

On the subject of Gordon Banks, I agree wholeheartedly with everything that`s been said. He`s the only future World Cup winner we`ve ever had playing for us, and the only one we`re ever likely to have, so to me it`s a complete no-brainer that he`s our `greatest ever`. I think I`m right (although, again, see above) in saying that I saw him play the very first time I went to Saltergate. I was 8 years old or so, so it would be about 1958; my grandfather took me to a reserve game on the basis that the size of the crowds were too big at first-team games for a little sprog like me (hard to believe nowadays, but true). I distinctly remember him saying that `that young lad in goal for us is going to be a good `un`, looking down at the single of a sheet of paper that passed for a programme and seeing the name Gordon Banks. Like all 8 year olds, I was convinced that my granddad and my dad were all-knowing in all things and made a point of remembering the name; I got a real kick out of seeing him play in the Cup Final for Leicester City only 3 years later.

Happy days and more innocent times.
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#10
Yeah I liked the the old days far more, but would Stanley Matthews have had the space and time he got in the old days? On the other hand he wouldn't have received the crunching tackles that were allowed then, and the ball and his boots would have been more responsive.

I don't think I saw Banksy for us. I was born 1952 so I don't think I got to Saltergate until 1959 / 60. I think Fat Ron was back in goal, not bad, but no World Cups in sight. But Leicester has always been my second team because they were the first bigger club I saw play and they'd got our Gordon Banks! And I spent days getting excited at the prospect of them in the Cup Final and was close to tears at the tragedy of it.

And it occurs to me how different our introduction to the game and its skills were back then. No one in this country has played football in the backyard or schoolyard with a tennis ball or any kind of ball they could they lay the hands on for years have they? It had to make a difference to your close skills didn't it? Look at Glasgow, whistle outside any tenement and a magic, little ball player would appear ......

And our lives were so different and so much freer. Aged just nine me and my mate went on the Cross Street end on our own. His dad was a teacher at the Grammar School and he took us in his big Rover, we'd park in one of the side streets, he'd go in the Stands and we'd take our money and go in through the turnstile. We'd run round to be behind the goal both halves and be back at the car waiting when his dad arrived. No wonder in that prevailing atmosphere players like Frank Worthington, Alan Hudson, Rodney Marsh and George Best felt empowered to play with a freedom and flair we find very difficult to replicate these days.
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