Brazil great Pele paid a moving tribute to England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks following his death, lauding him as "magic" and revealing his gratitude for being denied by what became known as the "Save of the Century".
Banks' family released a statement through his former club Stoke City on Tuesday, confirming the 81-year-old had "passed away peacefully overnight".
He was capped 73 times by his country and was an ever-present as Alf Ramsey's team claimed World Cup glory on home soil in 1966.
But Banks, widely considered to be among the greatest goalkeepers ever, produced one of the World Cup's most iconic moments four years later, pulling off an astonishing reaction save to keep out a header from Pele in Mexico City.
That save was the catalyst to a long friendship, and Pele penned a touching tribute to Banks on Tuesday.
A post on his official Facebook profile read: "For many people, their memory of Gordon Banks is defined by the save he made against me in 1970. I understand why.
"The save was one of the best I have ever seen - in real life and in all the thousands of games I have watched since.
For many people, their memory of Gordon Banks is defined by the save he made against me in 1970. I understand why. The...Posted by Pelé on Tuesday, 12 February 2019
"When you are a footballer, you know straight away how well you have hit the ball. I hit that header exactly as I had hoped. Exactly where I wanted it to go. And I was ready to celebrate.
"But then this man, Banks, appeared in my sight, like a kind of blue phantom, is how I described him. He came from nowhere and he did something I didn't feel was possible. He pushed my header, somehow, up and over. And I couldn't believe what I saw. Even now when I watch it l, I can't believe it. I can't believe how he moved so far, so fast.
"I scored so many goals in my life, but many people, when they meet me, always ask me about that save. While it was indeed phenomenal, my memory of Gordon is not defined by that - it is defined by his friendship. He was a kind and warm man who gave so much to people.
"So, I am glad he saved my header - because that act was the start of a friendship between us that I will always treasure. Whenever we met, it was always like we had never been apart.
"I have great sadness in my heart and I send condolences to the family he was so proud of.
"Rest in peace, my friend. Yes, you were a goalkeeper with magic. But you were also so much more. You were a fine human being."
|Sarri´s ´different´ use of Kante a good thing, claims France coach Deschamps|
|Itoje absence confirmed for England´s trip to Wales|
|Ballack expects ´masterful win´ for Man City against Schalke|
|Deschamps salutes resurgent Martial|
|Former Cowboys QB Tony Romo to play Dallas PGA Tour event|
|Halfpenny and Biggar back in training for Wales ahead of England clash|
|Tedesco urges patience with ex-City youngster Matondo|
|Mbappe workload a concern for PSG boss Tuchel|
|Henderson joins Ireland squad for Rome trip|
|Wenger was convinced Ramsey would stay at Arsenal|
|Halep too strong for Bouchard in Dubai|
|Italy captain Parisse to miss Ireland match|
|Philander to miss second Sri Lanka Test with hamstring injury|
|Jesus and Stones absent from Manchester City training|
|Lukaku ready to be versatile for Solskjaer´s Manchester United|
|Dropping Parra & Lopez a sporting decision, insists Brunel|
|24 all out! Oman make unwanted history against Scotland|
|Dybala: Allegri has helped me develop|
|Russell ruled out of France clash|
|Hazard should leave Chelsea for Real Madrid ´to become stronger´|
|RFEF president Rubiales plans Supercopa de Espana revamp|
|Henshaw extends with Ireland and Leinster through to 2022|
|100 days to go: Cricket World Cup takes over Trafalgar Square|
|Bonucci rejected Real Madrid for Juventus return|
|Semenya releases her own list of experts in response to IAAF|
|Ozil might be in Arsenal comfort zone, says Wenger|
|France change half-back pairing for Scotland clash|
|Joshua is going to crack like an egg, predicts Miller|
|Klopp: Critics of powerful Bayern Munich look silly|
|Barcelona planning for post-Messi future - Bartomeu|
|Atletico Madrid v Juventus: 22 goals, three hat-tricks - Ronaldo´s remarkable record against Atleti|
|Schalke v Manchester City: ´Special kid´ Leroy Sane heads back home|
|Lewandowski chasing record, Suarez out to end away rut - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Mata: Pogba showed why he´s one of the best|
|Murray: Playing for Cardinals? That would be nice|
|Favre not worried despite Dortmund´s five-game winless run|
|Pro Piacenza expelled from Serie C after 20-0 humiliation|
|Beal tried recruiting players to Wizards during All-Star break|
|Kyrgios edges ´good mate´ Millman at Delray Beach Open|
|Messi is the only genius in football, says Capello|
|No chance of Icardi moving to Juve – Inter president|
|Nani joins MLS side Orlando|
|´He´s unreal´ – Warriors´ Curry praises Duke star Zion|
|Iguodala replaces LeBron as VP of NBPA|
|Lakers coach Walton: LeBron and I get along just fine|
|Pogba´s one of the best midfielders in the world – Solskjaer|
|Liverpool wanted Sancho but Man City wouldn´t sell to us, claims Klopp|
|Solskjaer hails ´massive´ result against Chelsea after PSG loss|
|Two-time Open 13 champion Simon avoids upset against Hoang|
|Sarri worried by results, not fans´ jeers|
|Mickelson, Tiger learn WGC-Mexico Championship groupings|
|Serena aiming to surpass Court´s major record this year - Mouratoglou|
|Solskjaer trusts us, we trust him – Pogba|
|Vettel revels in ´unbelievable´ start to F1 testing, Williams woe continues|
|Man United visit Wolves in FA Cup last eight, Swansea to host Man City|
|Giants manager Bruce Bochy to retire after 2019 season|
|Nurnberg 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Stalemate leaves Bayern within striking distance|
|Chelsea 0 Manchester United 2: Solskjaer´s men bounce back to reach FA Cup quarter-finals|
|Wozniacki explains ongoing struggle with viral illness after Dubai withdrawal|
|Petkovic drops just one game against Bogdan in Budapest|
|Barcelona have learned from Roma humiliation - Valverde|
|Djokovic and Biles take top Laureus honours|
|Leeds United fined £200,000 by EFL following spying controversy|
|Tiger Woods wins Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award|
|Gundogan marvels at Man City team-mate David Silva|
|Djokovic can match Nadal and Federer in major honours - Becker|
|Ribery doubtful for Liverpool trip after daughter´s birth|
|Webb outlines commitment to Toulon after president´s outburst|
|Griezmann: Champions League home final gives us extra motivation|
|Salihamidzic and Bayern not daunted by ´special´ Anfield atmosphere|