Skipper’s pride in Banks talk

Tom Heaton
Tom Heaton

Clarets skipper Tom Heaton admits that he’s proud to have been uttered in the same breath as legendary England goalkeeper Gordon Banks.

Comparisons were instantly drawn between the two after the former Manchester United trainee denied one-time team-mate Charlie Austin with a spectacular save at St Mary’s.

It was a stop that emulated the incredible agility of Banks to deny Pele in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, a save that is widely considered to be the greatest in the history of the game.

“I’ve seen a few of the comparisons this week,” Heaton said. “In fairness to Gordon Banks it is an incredible save from Pele in the game between England and Brazil.

“That’s some stage to do it on. To be even talked about in the same breath is incredible for me really. That’s about as far as it goes in terms of that though.”

He added: “A few of the lads were saying that it was one of the best saves that they’d seen live. Ben Mee said that. That’s obviously nice.

“Those are the sort of moments that you work towards and work for.

“Again, I’ve got to re-iterate, the bigger picture is the team and the points.

“I would come away far happier having hardly touched the ball and getting the win.

“It’s been a good week for goalkeepers. There have been some good saves.

“Hugo Lloris made an incredible save, David De Gea’s on Monday night was brilliant, Maarten Stekelenburg had a superb day on Saturday. It’s been an interesting week for goalkeepers.”

In the meantime, the Turf Moor stopper feels that he’s going in to tomorrow’s Premier League clash with Everton in the best form of his life.

The 30-year-old, who was called up to Gareth Southgate’s latest Three Lions squad, has kept two clean sheets this term though that figure could’ve been greater with Swansea City, Hull City and Arsenal all netting late goals.

Asked whether he felt that he was at the top of his game, Heaton said: “I think so, yes. I’ve been working hard every day to try and get better and I feel that I have been doing ever since I’ve been at Burnley.

“I’m certainly in the best shape that I’ve ever been in. Both physically and mentally

“I feel that I’m in a great place and technically when you put all those pieces together. I feel very good at the moment.”

l The last time the Clarets faced the Toffees in the top flight, Heaton saved midfielder Ross Barkley’s penalty at Goodison Park.

Burnley, who were reduced to 10 men with Ashley Barnes’s dismissal, were downed by Kevin Mirallas’s winner.