Banks, Alan

Birth Date

5th October 1938

Birthplace

Liverpool, England

Occupation

Forward

Biographical Text

One of Exeter City’s all time legends; with his exceptional goal scoring record for the Grecians, and also being a member of the club’s first ever team to win promotion in 1964.

After playing for the Rankin Boys Club in his home town of Liverpool, Banks was signed as amateur by the Anfield club.

He then became a full professional with them in May 1958, going on to score six goals in eight Football League appearances.

Banks then linked up with Southern League Cambridge City where he simply could not stop scoring goals, netting 129 in two and a half seasons.

It seemed that Exeter City had got themselves a bargain in October 1963, when they parted with fees eventually totalling £5,250, and that certainly proved to be the case.

The Grecians had to pay Cambridge City an initial £3,000, plus a further £250 after 20 first team appearances. They also had to part with £2,000 to Liverpool who still held his Football League registration.

Banks ended his first season at St James’ Park, not only top scoring with 18 goals but helping the Grecians to win promotion.

Unfortunately he sustained a broken leg in a Third Division match against Port Vale in February 1965, and the loss of the player proved to be a big blow for the Grecians.

Full of energy, he never gave up on a chase for a ball, and many will recall his unerring ability in a one on one situation with the visiting keeper - the ball invariably ending up in the back of the net.

Banks was leading goal scorer for Exeter City on four occasions, his stay at St James’ Park being broken as he joined arch rivals Plymouth Argyle in May 1966, making the move with goalkeeper Peter Shearing for a joint fee of £7,750.

He never really reproduced the same rich vein of form at Home Park and after 5 goals in 19 league matches, he was on his way back to Exeter City in November 1967, when he was re-signed along with John Newman for a joint fee of £8,000.

Once again he regularly found the target, including being City’s Player of the Year in 1968-69, although knee trouble hindered him for a while.

Season 1970-71 proved to be the best one in terms of goals for City as he scored 21 league goals.

Banks broke the individual scoring record for City in February 1971, when he netted his 90th Grecians’ goal in a game against York City at Bootham Crescent, beating the previous 89-goal record held by Graham Rees.

He was presented, on behalf of the club, with a silver salver to mark the achievement by the Mayor of Exeter

Banks, along with his wife Mary, opened a dress material business in Cowick Street in March 1973.

He was given a free transfer by City at the end of the 1972-73 season and he joined Southern League Poole Town.

Banks returned to St James’ Park to play for Exeter City in his own testimonial match against Leicester City in May 1975.

A month later he signed for Tiverton Town, having been released by Poole, despite being their Player of the Year.

He continued to live in Exeter and later worked for Exsports at the Guildhall Shopping Centre.

The Grecians have always remained his first love, still regularly attending matches at the Park in 2011-12.

A terrific character, full of enthusiasm for the game, Banks also helps organise matches for the ex-Exeter City players’ team and is a regular in helping out with pre-match hospitality at present day matches.

Appearances

245

Appearances as Substitute

13

Goals

101

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