England's 1966 World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks missed out on a knighthood due to an administrative error, Sky Sports News has learned.
Banks was due to receive the honour but an administrative error led to a delay, which wasn't corrected in time before he died at the age of 81 on Monday night.
Knighthoods cannot be awarded posthumously.
The 1966 hero was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1970.
Banks' former Stoke team-mates - with whom he won the League Cup in 1972 - led the campaign to see him recognised further with a knighthood, putting in an application more than two years ago.
But the paperwork was lost by officers at the government's Main Honours Committee.
Banks' friend and former team-mate Terry Conroy told Sky Sports News: "We were confident that in the New Year's honours list, he would have received a knighthood.
"But we were totally unaware until recently that there'd been a mistake with the government.
"We only got news at the weekend that they were looking into a new nomination with a view to consider the knighthood for the Queen's birthday in June/July.
"Sadly Gordon died 48 hours later."
Banks' 1966 teammates Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst were both knighted, along with the team's manager Sir Alf Ramsey.