Whether Lev Yashin is the greatest exponent of the goalkeeper’s art that football has seen is open to debate. There is, however, no doubt that the Black Panther revolutionised the way that the keeper’s role was interpreted during the 1950s and 1960s.
Yashin was the first goalkeeper to properly lead a team from the back and he introduced a dynamism and a mobility to his position rarely seen before. Rather than simply his 6-yard-box, the entire penalty box was Yashin’s natural domain and he was ever-willing to come off his line to take crosses, close down attackers or remonstrate with his defenders if they weren’t doing his bidding.
This first of two consecutive Vintage posts collects up some of our favourite black and white images dedicated to the great man. Look out for our next selection which features a selection of his seminal colour pictures.