Thursday, May 24, 2018

George Best (1946 – 2005): The Belfast Boy

George Best 1946-2005

Certainly one of the greatest players to grace football boots in the UK sadly passed away quietly in 2005. He died of multiple organ failure after a lifetime of heavy drinking. In the 60s the "Beatle in shorts and football boots” was a well balanced ball-playing genius, the like of which the world had hardly ever seen. The Belfast Boy was discovered by a talent scout at age 15 and taken to Manchester United . Two years later he pulled on the Red Devils Number 10 shirt and made his professional debut with the Old Trafford giants. In the same year as England won the World Cup, the Northern Irish star was a key player in the team that reached the semi-final of the European Cup. The Team went onto win the cup in 1968. Best scored 179 goals in 466 appearances for Manchester United and nine goals in 37 Northern Ireland caps. I saw George play for Manchester United, Hibs and Northern Ireland and he was a gifted player.

A joy to watch with superb mixture of natural skills, balance and dribbling abilities his ability to read the game and play effortlessly with both feet was testimony to his work on the training ground. Like many others, Best kept ‘profiles’ of his opponents and used these to good avail.

George for ever the sartorial footballer bridged the gap between football and fashion and wore specially designed football boots with side laces. The Stylo 'George Best' boots looked like a pair of bowling shoes with a white stripe from top to toe on each side. They were signed to authentic Best’s endorsement Decades before David Beckham, George Best ruled supreme on the green blaze. Sadly the boy had his demons and inevitably they caught up with him, yesterday. George was no saint off the field but despite this throughout his long and colourful career, George gave great pleasure to millions of football supporters across the globe. Everyone has a story about Besty, my favourite quote from the Irish wit, was.

"I spent a lot of my money on booze (alcohol), birds (women) and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."

Wherever you are George, thanks.

My sympathies and thoughts are with the family and friends of this great athlete.
All the Georgie Best

Reviewed 27/07/2016

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