Over many pages the papers pay tribute to what the Mirror calls the “rare greatness” of Gordon Banks – England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper. And – as the paper points out – he was so much more than that.
For the Sun, he was “the goalkeeping god who pulled off the greatest save the game has ever seen” – referring to that Pele header in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
The Mail says his seemingly effortless ability to prevent a football from entering the net made him the finest goalkeeper England, and perhaps the world, had ever seen.
He was, the Times says, the “gold standard for goalkeeping”.
But Banks is also widely praised for his down-to-earth qualities. The i says that even after the crowd’s roar of disbelief at his gravity-defying heroism in Guadalajara had faded, he never allowed the mystique born in that moment to obscure his humility.
He kept his feet firmly on the ground even when he was catapulting through the air to deny many a striker, the paper says.
According to the Independent website, he was always exceptionally generous with his time when it came to young goalkeepers, whether as a coach, a mentor or simply an old friend.
In the words of the Express, Gordon Banks was a legend and a gentleman.
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The Times says it has learnt that the head of MI6 is expected to stay in post beyond his retirement date this year to guide the service through the post-Brexit period.
According to the paper, Whitehall officials want Alex Younger to extend his appointment to cover the 12 to 24 months after Britain has left the EU.
It points out that Andrew Parker – Mr Younger’s counterpart at MI5 – has agreed to remain as director-general of the domestic security service until 2020.
‘Secret Brexit plot’
A conversation overheard by an ITV News reporter in the bar of the Brussels hotel where the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins, was staying is widely reported – and makes the lead story for the Express.
According to the paper, he told colleagues that MPs will be made to choose between a revised deal or a “long” delay to Brexit – in effect, ruling out a no-deal scenario.
The Guardian says Mr Robbins may have accidentally revealed Theresa May’s high-stakes Brexit strategy: “my way or a long delay”.
The Huffpost UK website says Mr Robbins’ comments have been seized on by hardline Tory Brexiteers, who warned that “officials advise, ministers decide”.
For its lead, the Guardian says the Home Office has been condemned for working with the Zimbabwean government to accelerate the deportation of asylum seekers, despite high-profile human rights abuses in the country.
Asylum lawyers and charities have told the paper that since Robert Mugabe was forced from power in November 2017, the Home Office has pushed ahead with a removals process for refused asylum seekers, many of whom have been in the UK for over a decade.
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