Selecting players to feature in the Star Strip series must have presented something of a quandary for the editorial team at the Charles Buchan Football Monthly. While it’s understandable that high-profile, big-name stars of the day would be obvious choices; the downside to picking players whose careers were still to peak was strips rapidly overtaken by significant new career developments.
Trying to second-guess what might happen in a player’s future is difficult of course. When Star Strip featured an ageing Ronnie Simpson of Celtic in 1966, few people could have imagined the keeper’s late career renaissance that dramatically altered how you would have portrayed his story just 12 months later. The same can’t really be said of Gordon Banks in this particular edition. The Banks Star Strip was published just a handful of months before the 1966 World Cup, a home-based tournament that would be a huge development in the career of any England international – regardless of whether they won the thing or not.
By choosing to tell Bank’s story in cartoon form at that particular moment in time, the result is a career that feels rather small and inconsequential. It’s interesting to note all the same that Banks saved some of his best performances for games against Liverpool. The visual reproduction of Banks in cartoon form is also one of the best in the entire Star Strip series.
Click on the strip to enlarge.