The Gordon Banks’ green gloves that Iribar pursued in an Athletic Club expedition

There is no discussion on the football’s environment about what the most special position on the pitch is. Goalkeepers are by far who set an example for football players’ next generations, the ones who remember every emblematic keeper starring in a World Cup for the rest of their lives.

Undoubtedly, the image that any child may keep from a top competition like that is linked to Gordon Banks and Jose Angel Iribar, two of the greatest goalkeepers in football history. They both could live the experience to play at the 1966 World Cup, besides Gordon Banks became World Champion with England back then.

Keepers such as Gordon Banks believed gloves were an essential part of any goalkeeper’s kit bag, especially if the ball was slippery. Speaking to Charlie Buchan’s Soccer Gift Book in 1967, Banks advised young readers to always carry a pair; “The slight slippery feeling you get is far outweighed by the advantages on a wet day,” advised England’s World Cup winning stopper. “I aim to do more punching on a wet day and without gloves this is dangerous.”

In the days before keepers were able to command huge fees for wearing a particular brand of goalkeeper gloves, England’s Gordon Banks reputedly bought the pair of thin string gloves that he wore in the 1966 World Cup final for a few shillings from an Army & Navy store in London.

Iribar said he noticed Gordon Banks played with green gloves, “which were of a higher quality than the ones we used in our games with Athletic. The gloves we used were similar to what we wore when it was cold in the streets.”

“Then, on a trip to England with Athletic I seized the opportunity and was able to find that type of gloves I was looking for. The truth is that I could get them in a store in the end. After that, I played for two years with those magnificient gloves which tied perfectly to my hand and were very fine. We also had to tie them with tape to maintain the sujecion in the hand.”

We will always remember the great save he made to Pele’s header at the 1970’s World Cup in Mexico. It’s an unforgettable image of football history and it is frankly masterful. Rest in peace.

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