World Cup winning former England goalkeeper Gordon Banks passed away at the age of 81 on Tuesday and people all over the world have joined hands to pay tribute.
Brazilian legend Pelé described Banks as a “goalkeeper with magic”, Gary Lineker said he was a “lovely, lovely man” and Wayne Rooney lamented what was a “sad day for English football”.
But by far the best tribute of the lot came from ex-Chelsea, Marseille and Republic of Ireland striker Tony Cascarino.
“I met Gordon Banks for the first time about ten years ago,” began Cascarino, in his column for The Times.
“It was Christmas and we danced to Love Train in a hotel in Liverpool.
“When the song came on at about 7pm I had been laughing away with my back to the dancefloor thinking, ‘Wow, it’s a bit early for this’ – and then I felt a gentle tug on my arm.
“I turned around and there was one of my heroes, a World Cup winner, telling me, ‘Jump in Tony, the love train is going.'”
Of all the Gordon Banks anecdotes, this, by Tony Cascarino, is the most…random. It works though. pic.twitter.com/EsG6Pk2y1h
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) February 13, 2019
If that doesn’t provide you with the funniest mental image you will see today, we’re not sure what will.
“It was all a bit surreal, him holding onto my hips as we did the love train, kicking our legs out to the side on the dancefloor at the Littlewoods Christmas party,” continued Cascarino.
“I don’t know if he was a good dancer as I had my back to him but he was a safe pair of hands, he held onto my hips tightly – although he did have a big target to aim at.
“The song ended and I turned around and said, ‘Nice to meet you, Gordon.'”.
A remarkable story, and one which reminds us of Peter Reid’s touching homage to the late England and Real Madrid winger Laurie Cunningham.
"Hi Peter, can you just give us a nice touching tribute on what Laurie Cunningham meant to you please"
"Sure, no worries…" pic.twitter.com/AWNX4h0Jvd
— Jim Daly (@jimdalycomedy) January 17, 2018
By the way, what on earth were Gordon Banks and Tony Cascarino doing at the Littlewoods Christmas party in Liverpool anyway?