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Pele to unveil new Banks statue

Brazil legend Pele will be at the Britannia Stadium this summer to unveil a new statue of former Stoke and England goalkeeper Gordon Banks.

Banks, who made 194 appearances for the Potters, made what is widely regarded as one of the greatest saves ever seen from a Pele header in the 1970 World Cup and the two legends are set to be reunited on July 12 when the statue is unveiled.

Banks, 70, will be immortalized on raised plinths making two of his most famous saves - including 'that save' from Pele - with a third figure at ground level of him holding the World Cup he won with England in 1966.

Banks personally regards his penalty save from West Ham's Geoff Hurst in the 1972 League Cup semi final as better than the one from Pele, and the best of his career, and it is likely that will be remembered in the statue's third figure.

The statue is the brainchild of Don Mullan, author of 'Gordon Banks - A Hero Who Could Fly', who now wants to raise £350,000 for local artist Andrew Edwards to create it.

Pele's visit to the Britannia Stadium will be his second visit to Stoke-On-Trent following his 1969 appearance at Stoke's former Victoria Ground, where his Santos side beat the Potters 3-2 in a friendly.

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