We remember Gordon Banks' acrobatic save from Pele's header in the 1970 World Cup.
Brazil 1-0 England
FIFA World Cup Finals, First Round
07 June 1970
"When I saw Jairzinho arc around, I knew the cross was coming," says England World Cup winner Gordon Banks talking about what many consider to be the greatest save of all time.
"I moved off my line and as I turned my head I saw Pelé. He met the ball with the meat of his head. Textbook stuff. I heard him shout, ‘Golo!’ I found myself at a 40-degree angle with my right hand stretching out towards the post, my eyes trained on the ball.
"I knew if I made contact, I’d have to get it up in the air. The ball hit the deck two yards in front of me. I made contact with one finger and rolled my hand, using the third and fourth fingers as leverage.
"I landed crumpled against the netting and my first reaction was to look at Pelé. He’d ground to a halt. I knew all I needed to know."
In what was a great game, the Brazilian whom Banks foiled also remembers the save clearly. "He came from nowhere," said Pelé. "I headed it perfectly towards one corner of the net while Banks was at the other corner.
"I was already shouting GOOOL!!! when Banks, like a salmon leaping up a falls, threw himself in the air and managed to tip the ball so it slid over the crossbar. It was an impossible play."
Football writer John Moynihan remembers watching the save with a fan:"‘Did you see that!’ roared Harry, turning round at us. His face was sweating profusely, his cowboy hat tilting back off his head, his yellow nicotined fingers trembling with tension. ‘By Christ, did you see it?’
"It was a fatuous remark, but he had to say something to relieve his windpipe. He wanted to convince himself we had seen what he had seen and make sure it was not some figment of the imagination."
As he got to his feet, Banks was patted on the back by Pelé. There followed a short exchange that Banks remembers like this:
Pelé: "I thought that was a goal."
Banks: "You and me both."
Bobby Moore: "You’re getting old, Banksy. You used to hold on to them."
Banks (to himself): "Like hell I did."