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 by netminders before. The entire penalty box was Yashin’s natural domain in a world where keepers habitually stayed on their line and he was ever-willing to charge out 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 images – one set in black and white, the other in colour – of the great man both on and off the pitch. Look out for our second selection later this week.