London [UK], April 12 (ANI): England football club Chelsea on Sunday confirmed that the legendary goalkeeper Peter Bonetti passed away at the age of 78 after a battle with long-term illness.
Bonetti was nicknamed as 'The Cat' due to his superb reflexes and he went on to feature in 729 games for Chelsea. He is on the second spot in the club's list of all-time appearances after Ron Harris. Bonetti also held the record for the cleanest sheets as a Chelsea goalkeeper until January 2014, when Petr Cech surpassed him.
"Peter Bonetti's position in the pantheon of Chelsea footballing gods is unassailable. He was the Cat who broke the mold, defied the odds, drew the gasps, earned the cheers and got the cream. All in front of an adoring Stamford Bridge," Chelsea FC said in an official statement.
During his stint with Chelsea, Bonetti managed to win the 1965 League Cup and the 1970 FA Cup.
He was also the first to recognise a role for gardening gloves, leading to his Peter Bonetti-branded specialist gloves which were a first and so successful they were sported not only by kids up and down the land but by many of his contemporaries at the top level of the game too.
Bonetti also played seven matches for England and served as number two behind Gordon Banks during the team's FIFA World Cup-winning run in 1966.
After an FA-led campaign years later which persuaded FIFA to reward every squad member, Bonetti was presented with a medal by Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Downing Street in 2009. (ANI)