Gordon Banks has teamed up with Barclay and AGE UK to back a campaign that is looking to get more elderly people online.
We caught up with the footballing legend to chat about the campaign, his career and lifting the World Cup in 1966.
- You have teamed up with Barclays and AGE UK for a new campaign about getting older people online, so can you tell me a little bit about it?
I am really lost with iPads and whatever, but they have taught me one of two little things; they are going to teach me some more. But what I have learnt is that by getting one and punching these things in you can find out how you can save quite a bit of money on different things.
The elderly people of our country are struggling with fuel at home and are paying quite big bills for petrol and electricity. By having an iPad or computer, they could save themselves quite a lot of money - which would be good.
- So why did you get involved with the campaign? Are you are someone who has struggled to get online?
I didn’t know anything about it until Barclays came along and said that they were supporting this idea and would I help? I said yes I would, and that is really how this whole thing started.
- I was reading that you have been getting some online lessons through this campaign, so how have they been going?
I have only had a few so it is still quite new to me. It is something that I am going to persevere with it though. I am down in London on Thursday, and they are going to show me some more things that will help me to get along with it.
- Away from the campaign you enjoyed a long and illustrious career as a goalkeeper for both club and country, so how would you sum up your career when you look back on it now?
I consider myself very fortunate and, in a roundabout way, very lucky because I had played for Sheffield Boys and been dropped after just two games.
My father made me left school at Christmas, he said that he would have let me stay on until the end of the season if I had been in the team, because I needed to bring some money in for the family; we were very poor.
So my first job was bagging local coal at the age of fifteen. I would shovel coal into the bags and then drop them down into the cellars so that people could have coal for the fires.
My brother David worked on a building site, and so he got me a job on the site as well; I was an apprentice bricklayer, but they did use me as cheap labour. So I was digging ditches and mixing concrete. I didn’t realise at the time, but it was building up the top half of my body.
I use to go and watch either Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday because I just loved the game of football; there was always one of the teams at home on a Saturday. So I would work to get some overtime on Saturday and then rush off to go and see one of them play.
This particular Saturday I missed the bus, and I thought ‘well there is no point in me going as I won’t get there until half time'. So I decided to go and watch the local team that played on the rec; it was around the corner from where I lived as was where we kicked a ball around as boys.
There was half a dozen warming up, and this guy walked over to me and said ‘you use to play in goal at school didn’t you?’ And I was like ‘Yes, why?’ And he said ‘Do you want a game; a goalie has not turned up?’ So I ran on to the field and played.
After the match, he said ‘do you want to play regularly as we never know if this guy is going to turn up?’ So that was actually how I broke in to finding a team to play for. It was unbelievable really.
- You were a key part of the England team that lifted the World Cup back in 1966, so what was it like being in the middle of all that?
Fantastic, it was just unbelievable. When you go into a competition of that nature you have got no idea how it is going to turn out; you really don’t have any idea.
We were a bit fortunate that we had gone around twelve or fifteen games without defeat and that had given us a tremendous amount of confidence. We still didn’t say ‘we are going to win this’ as you just didn’t know.
We just got on with out job and took each game as it came. The closer we got to that final the more you just felt ‘come on we really want to get there now’. Every game your hair just stood on end in that dressing room, believe me.
You use to shake in that dressing room as you were waiting to come out to the roar from the crowd. It was great as my family was there watching. It was just something that you never forget; it was great.
- But we have never seen an England team come close to repeating that success since 1966, so why do you think that is?
Nobody knows what is going to happen, and anyone can win that particular trophy. You play again teams, and you think ‘they are good’ but nobody knows some of the other teams that could have been winning games; they might not be a big country, but they could be winning games and playing really well.
For us, to get to that final and run around the field with that trophy was fabulous, it really was.
- England is currently in the process of trying to qualify for the 2014 World Cup so what do make of the strength and depth of the England squad at the moment? And who do you think will be the key players as they move into the tournament next year?
People like Wayne Rooney, I watched him last night, and it was the best I have seen him play as he really did work very hard running around and creating problems for Chelsea, he looked superb. So people like him, along with one of two others, will be key.
There are some youngsters coming through and there are one of two players who look good. But at this moment in time, we are not sure how the team is going to play.
Sometimes we see them play well, and they are knocking it about and creating chances, and then the next time we see them, they don’t look very good at all. At times, they are struggling to pass the ball around and to create chances.
At this moment in time, we need to qualify, that is the big thing. Then with the friendly matches that the manager with arrange that will give him a chance to try one or two that are on the verge of getting into the side.
He might want to change a tactic here and there, and that will give him the chance to improve a bit further and take a good side into that World Cup. At the moment, we are in and out; we are looking good one minute and very ordinary the next.
- Spain has dominated the international tournaments in recent years, so what have you made of their football?
A lot of teams try to play the same way - they try to keep possession and get up there to create chances and score. Spain does exactly that; they get up there, and they knock that ball about and crate chances.
We can get the ball and keep possessions but we don’t always create a lot of chances, and I think we have got to be a bit better when we get to the last third of the field. I think that once we can do that, then we have got a chance.
- You have mentioned Wayne Rooney already, so are there any other players that you are enjoying watching at the moment?
Because England is a team that is in and out at the moment I am seeing one player who looks good in one game, and then very ordinary in the next.
Joe Cole is a good full-back, but I am not even sure that he will get in the side. John Terry is the same as, I think people are thinking that they are too old now. But when I see them play they do still look very useful; experience counts for a big thing; it really does.
Joe Hart, the goalkeeper, has gone a little in and out; he was playing well until he made a mistake about a year ago. He seems to have just been off for a little while - I still think that he is a good goalkeeper.
- The new Premier League season has just got underway so who do you think will be battling it out for the title come next May?
I think it is going to be the same; Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. I wouldn’t like to pick one out. However, Manchester City, that was a drastic start for them as, they lost at Cardiff - that was a real shocker for them.
You can’t tell in the first few games who are really going to be there. But because they have spent a lot of money on class players, you do expect them to finish the season well. I think it takes a least the first six games to settle in and get use to the pace and the fitness and new players.
- Finally, you are fronting this Barclays campaign but what else is coming up for you for the rest of this year?
I do a bit of after-dinner speaking, and I have a couple of things that are booked; that has gone very slack because of the way things have gone in this country.
I go down to Stoke when I can, I work on a Saturday because we didn’t earn the money that they do today, so we still have to earn a little bit of money (laughs). I do a bit of gardening, and I like to play golf; they keep me active.
Legendary World Cup goal keeper Gordon Banks was speaking on behalf of Barclays who are aiming to get more elderly people online with their Digital Eagles campaign. For further information on Barclays digital products and services please visit Barclays.co.uk.