The Gordon Banks Stadium: Sheffield stadium renamed in memory of World Cup football legend

A Sheffield football stadium will be renamed in honour of World Cup goalkeeper Gordon Banks.

Woodbourn Road will be called The Gordon Banks Stadium as part of a city memorial to the famous footballer.

It comes as part of a £1.5 million redevelopment of the facility, which Sheffield Council has been working on for some time.

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World Cup champion

World Cup hero Gordon Banks

Gordon was born in Tinsley and later moved to Catcliffe and began his career with Sheffield Schoolboys before moving to Chesterfield in March 1953.

He was regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, receiving his crowning role in England’s historic World Cup triumph in 1966.

Four years later his worldwide fame rocketed again thanks to his so-called save of the century to deny Pele and Brazil in the 1970 finals. He died in 2019 at the age of 81.

There is a star to honour Gordon on the Walk of Fame outside Sheffield Town Hall but Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, a Sheffield Wednesday fan who lives in Tinsley, campaigned for a local memorial.

Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, a Sheffield Wednesday fan who lives in Tinsley, campaigned for a local memorial

He said at the time: “My uncle lived three doors down from Gordon on Ferrars Road and remembered him playing on Tinsley park as a child.

“I work with youth services in the area and we tell the young people about Gordon.

“I’ve always seen him as someone who grew up in Sheffield and became a real legend and role model. He is a good inspiration to young people and we need to celebrate him.”

Sheffield Football Hubs

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The Yorkshire Post says: Gordon Banks, a national icon and ultimate role model

The five-a-side football pitches and pavilion at Woodbourn Road were previously run by Powerleague, who withdrew from the site as part of a national rationalisation programme in 2019.

Council officer James Barnes said: “When the Powerleague arrangement ended, the council was left with a site with significant health and safety issues both on the football playing area and within the pavilion.

“The council invested to enable the facility to continue operating in the short term, while additional funding was secured to significantly improve and modernise the site.

“The Football Foundation recognises the significant contribution the Woodbourn Road site has for football in Sheffield and has allocated £1.5m for its development.”

Woodburn Road will now become a fourth Sheffield Football Hub along with Graves, Thorncliffe and Westfield.

The report adds: “As the largest single funder of artificial pitches in Europe, the Football Foundation is looking to use Woodbourn Road to research recyclable artificial football pitch surfaces with organic infill materials.

“Investing into a multipitch site for the purpose of real life research of different pitch systems will provide a unique opportunity to gather objective live performance data.

“The Woodbourn Road site will provide a platform for innovation and incentivise the industry to push forward with better performing and more environmentally sustainable artificial pitches.”

The council says Covid had a significant impact on the operation of the Hubs with periods of closure due to national lockdowns and reduced capacity due to restrictions.

But it wants to develop a long term sustainable future for the Hubs so they can bring considerably more social, economic and environmental benefits and support the recovery from the pandemic.