OLD RIVALS: Pals Gordon Banks and Pele
Hearing the tributes to England World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks, who died at aged 80 this week, really warmed my heart.

Football is a funny game.

It’s supposed to be a team sport, with 11 manne giving their all to win a match.

There are some, like legendary Liverpool boss Bill Shankly, who believe that football is like a piano.

He quipped that you need eight men to carry the thing and three guys who can actually play the damn thing.

But goalscorers have always been adored by the public.

They are the ones who administer the drugs that hook the fans.

They give you the scoreline and something to cheer about. They bring the music.

Then you have those guys that save goals.

Before David de Gea, Gigi Buffon, Peter Schmeichel, Dino Zoff, there was Lev Yashin and Banks.

Yashin was nicknamed the Black Spider because of his all-black kit.

He and Banks were genuine stars of their teams like De Gea is at Manchester United today.

There were many great things said about Banks but he will always be the man considered to have made the greatest ever save.

England played Brazil in the 1970 World Cup group stages and Banks stole the show in that match to deny Pele.

Rising above the Pom defence, the Brazilian headed down and it looked a sure goal.

Banks though somehow got a hand to it and parried it over over the crossbar.

If you’ve never seen, it’s hard to explain how even with his hand there, it should have ended up on the roof of the net.

That moment was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the two stars.

Pele, scorer of 1 000 goals and winner of three World Cups, says that he will forever be remembered for the goal he never scored, thanks to Banks.

And that for me makes football so damn special.

Every player in the team can be the hero.