BOLTON Wanderers legend Tommy Banks has passed away at the age of 94.

The Farnworth-born defender was a member of the 1958 FA Cup winning team who played 255 times for the club and also won six caps for England.

At the time of his death, Banks was the oldest living former international for the Three Lions, taking over from Ron Baynham in March this year.

Known in his playing days for being an uncompromising defender and the scourge of wingers up and down the land, Banks signed for Bolton in 1947 whilst still working down the pit in Mossley Common and playing for local team, Partridge’s FC.

He had already turned down overtures from Arsenal, Leeds United, Wolves and Burnley – and even a personal visit from Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, who had turned up on his mother’s doorstep while he was at work with an offer to come and watch the club train the following day.

Banks made his debut for the club in a First Division match against Wolves in May 1948 and went on to play alongside his older brother Ralph in his formative years at Burnden Park.

His prowess as a football was often overlooked, however, and by 1958 he had forced his way into the England squad, making his debut against the Soviet Union in Moscow.

He gained fame as the face of Gillette blue razors, becoming the first English sportsman to appear in a TV advert, and rubbed shoulders with many of the footballing stars of the day before finishing his career in non-league football with Altrincham and Bangor, then moving into the building trade and briefly running a newsagent in Farnworth.

After leaving Bolton, he played non-league football for Altrincham and then for Bangor City.

Banks and his second wife, Rita, stayed in his hometown and it was confirmed in late 2022 that he had been diagnosed with dementia.

He continued to fundraise for the Alzheimer’s Society and held a fundraiser at Farnworth Cricket Club with the help of local businessman, Martin Axford and his family.

Wanderers said in a statement on the club’s website: "The thoughts and condolences of everyone at Bolton Wanderers are with Tommy's family and friends.

"As a mark of respect, the club will lower the flags outside the Toughsheet Community Stadium to half-mast from tomorrow morning (Friday, 14 June). Arrangements for Tommy’s funeral will be communicated in due course."