BRYAN Douglas has paid tribute to goalkeeper Gordon Banks after the England great died aged 81.

Rovers legend Douglas, who was inducted into the club's inaugural Hall of Fame last week, played alongside Banks for the Three Lions and faced him on numerous occasions at club level.

Douglas was in the England team, and on the scoresheet, when Banks made his international debut in a 2-1 Home Nations defeat to Scotland in April 1963.

Douglas made 36 appearances for his country, the latter two of which overlapped with the start of Banks' international career which would last nine years and 73 caps and include a World Cup victory in 1966.

"He was a great goalkeeper," recalls Douglas, 84. "I played with him a couple of times for England before I finished and he was a great servant for England.

"He was only a young lad coming into the team and like all of us didn't know what to expect but he fitted in and was a popular member of the squad.

"I will never forget that save he made against Brazil, one of the best ever, and he was just a great player.

"I played against him a few times when he was at Leicester and he was always a really good goalkeeper."

Banks, who revealed in 2016 that he was battling kidney cancer for the second time, died peacefully on Monday night.

A statement issued by former club Stoke on the Banks family’s behalf said: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight.

“We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him. We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this time.”

Banks made 510 league appearances for Chesterfield, Leicester - with whom he won the League Cup in 1964 - and Stoke before retiring from the professional game at the age of 34 following a road accident which cost him the sight in his right eye, although he later returned briefly to the sport in America.

But it was on the international stage that he established himself as a star, playing in the 4-2 World Cup final victory over West Germany in 1966.

However, he will probably be best remembered for his heroics in Mexico four years later when he made the logic-defying save which was to define his career when he somehow managed to turn Brazil star Pele’s header over the crossbar.