George Best
Northern Irish footballer
George Best
George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005) was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team. In 1968 he won the European Cup with United, and was named the European Footballer of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. He is described by the national team's governing body, the Irish Football Association, as the "greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland".
George Best's personal information overview.
Photo Albums
Popular photos of George Best
May 13, 2012
The Wedding Present - George Best Graphic designers will immediately recognize these little squares that represent Pantone swatches. British artist David Marsh took these functional little squares and turned them into something completely new - classic al
November 30, 2011
Calum Best with George Best fan Bridie Bell Calum Best fails to draw the crowds as he promotes his fragrance at Unicare Pharmacy at Ashleaf shopping centre
November 21, 2009
Katie Larmour on George Best American Truck Model and TV presenter Katie Larmour is throwing her weight behind an alcohol awareness charity. Katie attended a fundraiser for the George Best Foundation in Bangor to raise cash for the charity and welcome San
March 24, 2009
George Best being interviewed by Terry Wogan on the latter's eponymous titled BBC chat show. Supplied by WENN does not claim any ownership including but not limited to Copyright or License in the attached material. Any downloading fees charged by
September 04, 2006
Angie Best, a former wife of football legend George Best, is a guest on TV show ' The Sharon Osbourne Show ' on ITV1.
December 03, 2005
Photo by Gareth Gay-alpha-Globe Photos 2005 George Best Funeral Great Hall Parliament Buildings, Stormont in Belfast Northern Ireland 12-03-2005
December 02, 2005
GEORGE BEST fans across Northern Ireland goes to Windsor Park where he played for his country to left flowers and football tributes
November 26, 2005
Tributes to George Best at The Cromwell Hospital
News abour George Best from around the web
Snapshot Hints That 'Game Of Thrones' Character Has Finally Stopped Rowing
Huffington Post - 6 months
Holy ship. It was back in Season 3 of “Game of Thrones” that Gendry, bastard of the former King Robert Baratheon, was last seen rowing away in a boat. Since then, his friend Arya has become an assassin who bakes people into pies, Cersei Lannister has taken the Iron Throne, Jon Snow is King in the North and Dany is about to demolish Westeros with her dragons. Seven hells! Winter finally came!  But, still, no Gendry. Until now ... As Watchers on the Wall reports, Joe Dempsie, the actor who plays Gendry, was spotted by a fan at Ireland’s George Best Belfast City Airport, and he’s definitely not rowing anywhere. Gendry is coming! — Juego de Tronos (@juegotronosplus) September 14, 2016 WOTW adds that the actor likely doesn’t have another project that requires him to be in Belfast, so it appears that Gendry may finally be returning to “Game of Thrones” in Season 7. Gendry had to leave in Season 3 because S ...
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Huffington Post article
Genius, celebrity, outsider: films show George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo share same story
Guardian (UK) - over 1 year
New documentaries highlight two footballing greats with similar backgrounds. But their responses to the pressure of fame are a symbol of very different eras This month sees the release of two football documentaries that examine two superstars past and present whose uncanny similarities are eclipsed only by their profound differences: George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo. The films are nothing alike. Ronaldo, a documentary made by the producers of Senna, is a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Portuguese striker who stars for Real Madrid, while the newly rereleased Football As Never Before is a 1971 German arthouse documentary by Hellmuth Costard, in which eight film cameras were focused on Best in a 1970 game against Coventry in his Manchester United heyday. Continue reading...
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Guardian (UK) article
John Giles on Jack Grealish: A missed chance to grab a real player
Herald - Ireland - almost 2 years
I played with George Best twice just before I left Old Trafford for Leeds. He was on the left wing, I was on the right. I thought he was okay. A year later, he was a superstar.
Article Link:
Herald - Ireland article
Royal baby girl set to be Prince George's best friend
Daily Mail (UK) - almost 2 years
William and Kate's new baby girl might be a welcome addition to their family but she will play a crucial role in royal life as well. But of all her duties, none will be as vital as her friendship with George.
Article Link:
Daily Mail (UK) article
Jack Grealish... the boy who won't pull his socks up because of George Best 
Daily Mail (UK) - almost 2 years
As a 15-year-old, Jack Grealish watched a Sky Sports special dedicated to George Best and saw the Man United great with his socks round his ankles in defiance. Grealish decided to do the same.
Article Link:
Daily Mail (UK) article
Hall of famers proved defensive stalwarts for Blues across 12 years
Hastings St Leonards Observer - almost 2 years
Pompey’s Hall of Fame will be boosted by the addition of two defensive mainstays from the 1960s and 70s. New inductees George Ley and Billy Wilson both bolstered the Blues from the left-back position. And their time at Fratton Park crossed over as they delivered 12 years of service to the club between them. Ley arrived at Pompey from Exeter for £8,000 in 1967 and his ferocious left foot and forays forward helped his side finish fifth in Division Two and advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup in his first full season. The Devon-born man was a virtual ever-present in his five full campaigns at the club. And there was a highly-publicised accolade off the pitch for Ley, too, when he was named the best-looking footballer in England in 1968. Ley will be travelling from Texas for tomorrow’s induction evening. Hall of fame committee chairman Jake Payne said: ‘George Ley was a skilful left-footed full-back. ‘George had a heck of a shot on him which was a real threat. ‘They had a poll ...
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Hastings St Leonards Observer article
George's 43 points not enough as Pacers fall in Portland
Fox News - about 3 years
Portland, OR ( - Portland took Paul George's best shot, but the Trail Blazers proved they have a closer of their own.Damian Lillard scored 14 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Indiana Pacers, 106-102, on Monday night
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Fox News article
Prosecutor: Phone Hacking Reporters Targeted Prince William, Harry
Huffington Post - over 3 years
LONDON -- LONDON (AP) — A prosecutor gave jurors juicy details of tabloid misbehavior at Britain's phone hacking trial on Friday, describing how journalists targeted celebrities, government ministers and even Princes William and Harry. The never-ending demand for royal stories at Rupert Murdoch's British tabloids led employees to hack voicemail messages left by the princes, target senior aides and pay thousands of pounds for a photo of Prince William in a bikini, prosecutor Andrew Edis said. Journalists at Murdoch's News of the World routinely used phone hacking to back up tips and find evidence for stories, he said — using a "perfectly rational but entirely illegal system." In three days of opening statements, Edis has taken the jury at London's Central Criminal Court on a methodical journey through the "dog-eat-dog" tabloid battle for scoops. Former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, both 45; Brooks' husband Charles and five former staff of Murdoch's Brit ...
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Huffington Post article
A legend brought low Financial Times Blogs - over 3 years
Could better handling have saved George Best? A review of ‘Immortal’, by Duncan Hamilton
Article Link: Financial Times Blogs article
Brian Dooley: Manchester United, Denis Law, and Torture by the Bahrain Regime
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
This Saturday Manchester United legend Denis Law is going to Bahrain to promote the 2013 Manchester United Soccer School (MUSS). Law's appearance comes just one week before the Formula One race will take place in Bahrain. "The visit is set to happen during a significant time in Bahrain's sporting calendar and is aimed at further strengthening Bahrain's profile as a major host of sporting activities by raising its international profile," says the event's sponsor, telecom operator VIVA. While Law is there promoting the school, it might be nice if he went to see the family of Ahmad Shams, the 15-year-old boy who was shot by the police, according to his family, while wearing a Man United shirt in March 2011, or popped in to see Dr. Fatima Haji, one of the medics in Bahrain who was tortured and interrogated about her connection to Man United. Ahmed Shams was playing soccer with his friends near his home in Sar on March 30 2011, his family told me, when he was killed by secur ...
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Huffington Post article
Mark Juddery: The Fifth Beatle? Here's a Top 10!
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Currently a movie is in pre-production called The Fifth Beatle, based on a graphic novel published by Dark Horse Comics. It's a familiar phrase, which is generally used to describe... well, just about anyone. Even football (or soccer) player George Best was called "the fifth Beatle", because in the days of Beatlemania, he was apparently the only man in Britain with a celebrity status to rival their own. I didn't see him perform at any of their concerts, however. But you don't have to be anyone special to receive that lofty description. When I did an interview on U.S. radio a couple of years ago, the announcers mentioned I sounded like the fifth Beatle. I'm not sure which one they meant. Presumably, they thought that an urban Australian accent sounded like one from the Beatles' home city of Liverpool, England. Or maybe, to the untrained ear, I sound like Yoko Ono. The movie is in fact about Brian Epstein, their manager, with whom they were inseparable (unless they were on ...
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Huffington Post article
James Payne: Bowling With George Best and Politics With Jayne Mansfield
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Neil Libbert is a photojournalist whose career spans 55 years. He has taken images of some of the worlds most famous people from George Best when he was nineteen to Winston Churchill at 88 years old. Mariah Carey, Kingsley Amis, Cassius Clay, Judy Garland... the list goes on. Libbert is also celebrated for his groundbreaking street photography and his extraordinary career covering such events as the 1981 Brixton Riots and the Admiral Duncan pub bombing. London, 1981 ©Neil Libbert Born in Salford, Neil Libbert studied at the Regional College of Art in Manchester before starting to work as a photographer and opening his own studio in the city in 1957. He joined the staff of the Manchester Guardian, and moved to the paper's London office in 1961. He stayed with the Guardian until 1965 before working under contract to the Sunday Times, the New York Times, Granada TV and the Illustrated London News until 1968 when he again became a freelance photographer. Libbert still ...
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Huffington Post article
Maureen Ryan: Hooray For The Return Of 'Happy Endings' (And 'Suburgatory')
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Hooray, it's the start of the television season. I can guess your reaction: "Wait, what? The fall TV season started weeks ago!" Sure, it did, but what got the most attention in September were the debuts of new programs. For TV critics and viewers alike, it's a month spent speed-dating: You spend a lot of time on entities you don't know very well and hope for the best, knowing that the chances of a long-term connection arising from this period of insanity are slim indeed. What many of us spent the last month not-so-secretly longing for are the return of shows we already know are good. "Vegas," shmegas: I'm sure I'm not the only one who was most excited about the return of "Homeland" (Saul! Beards! Super-inconvenient phone calls! Claire Danes' unstoppable cry face!) and "The Good Wife" (though I share June Thomas' deep dismay about the clunkiness of the Kalinda storyline this season). But those are dramas -- i.e., they sometimes force my brain to engage or experienc ...
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Huffington Post article
The lord from Lucknow
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
How many people do you know who have been bestowed high national civilian awards by two countries that, to put it mildly, don’t like each other very much? Not many, for sure. But when those two countries are Pakistan and India, then the number of people so honoured could probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. Well, Baron Khalid Hameed of Hampstead is one such person, being the recipient of India’s Padma Bhushan, as well as Pakistan’s Sitara-e-Quaid-i-Azam and Hilal-e-Quaid-i-Azam. We are meeting in his office in London’s Harley Street, which is world famous for being at the forefront of medical science and for attracting pioneering medical specialists from all over the world. He’s not out of place in the caduceus crowd either. Trained as a doctor in his hometown of Lucknow, 71-year-old Hameed is the chairman of the Alpha Hospital Group and CEO of the London International Hospital. Previously, he was also the executive director of London ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of George Best
  • 2005
    His body left the family home at Cregagh Road, East Belfast, shortly after 10:00 UTC on Saturday, 3 December 2005.
    More Details Hide Details The cortege then travelled the short distance to Stormont. The route was lined with around 100,000 mourners. Former Northern Ireland manager Billy Bingham, international team-mates Derek Dougan, Peter McParland, Harry Gregg, Gerry Armstrong and Denis Law were the first to carry the coffin to the base of the Stormont steps. There was an 11 am service in the Grand Hall attended by 300 invited guests relayed to around 25,000 mourners inside the grounds of Stormont. Best's brother Ian, agent Phil Hughes, Dr Akeel Alisa, who treated Best, and his brothers-in-law Norman McNarry and Alan McPherson, were also pallbearers. As the cortege left Stormont, the Gilnahirk pipe band played. The funeral was live on several television stations including BBC One. Afterward, Best was cremated, and his ashes were interred beside his mother Annie Elizabeth Kelly in a private ceremony at the hill-top Roselawn Cemetery, overlooking east Belfast.
    In the early hours of 25 November 2005, treatment was stopped; later that day he died, aged 59, as a result of a lung infection and multiple organ failure.
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    Best continued to drink, and was sometimes seen at his local pub in Surbiton, London. On 3 October 2005, Best was admitted to intensive care at the private Cromwell Hospital in London, suffering from a kidney infection caused by the side effects of immuno-suppressive drugs used to prevent his body from rejecting his transplanted liver.
    More Details Hide Details On 27 October, newspapers stated that Best was close to death and had sent a farewell message to his loved ones. Close friends in the game visited his bedside to make their farewells, including Rodney Marsh, and the two other members of the "United Trinity", Bobby Charlton and Denis Law. On 20 November, the British tabloid News of the World published a picture of Best (at his own request) showing him in his hospital bed with jaundice, along with a warning about the dangers of alcohol with his message: "Don't die like me".
    A proponent of a United Ireland football team, in 2005 Best stated: "I've always thought that at any given time both the Republic and Northern Ireland have had some great world-class players.
    More Details Hide Details I still hope that in my lifetime it happens." During his early years at Old Trafford, Best was a shy teenager who passed his free time in snooker halls. However he later became known for his long hair, good looks and extravagant celebrity lifestyle, and appeared on Top of the Pops in 1965.
  • 2004
    On 2 February 2004, Best was convicted of another drink-driving offence and banned from driving for 20 months.
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    In 2004 she alleged that Best was violent towards her during their marriage, an issue that was, in fact, covered in Best's authorised 1998 biography "Bestie" in which Alex claimed that Best punched her in the face on more than one occasion.
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  • 2003
    The controversy was reignited in 2003 when he was spotted openly drinking white wine spritzers.
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  • 2002
    In August 2002, he had a successful liver transplant at King's College Hospital in London.
    More Details Hide Details The transplant was performed at public expense on the NHS, a decision which was controversial due to Best's alcoholism.
  • 2001
    In 2001, he was admitted to hospital with pneumonia.
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  • 2000
    Best was diagnosed with severe liver damage in March 2000.
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  • 1999
    Before he died, Best was voted 8th in the World Soccer 100 greatest football players of the 20th century election in 1999 and was voted 16th in the IFFHS World Player of the Century election in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details He was one of the inaugural 22 inductees into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2004 he was voted 19th in the public UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll and was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players. Former Brazilian footballer Pelé stated, “George Best was the greatest player in the world". Best was once quoted as saying, “Pelé called me the greatest footballer in the world. That is the ultimate salute to my life.” After his death, on what would have been his 60th birthday, Belfast City Airport was renamed the George Best Belfast City Airport. According to the BBC, Best was remembered by mourners at his public funeral held in Belfast as "the beautiful boy" a "beautiful game". George Best was the first child of Richard "Dickie" Best (1919–2008) and Anne Best (née Withers; 1922–1978).
  • 1995
    He married Alex Pursey in 1995 in Kensington and Chelsea, London. They divorced in 2004; they had no children.
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  • 1990
    In September 1990, Best appeared on the primetime BBC chat show Wogan in which he was heavily drunk and swore, at one point saying to the host, "Terry, I like screwing".
    More Details Hide Details He later apologised and said this was one of the worst episodes of his alcoholism.
  • 1984
    He spent Christmas of 1984 behind bars at Ford Open Prison.
    More Details Hide Details Contrary to popular belief and urban legend he never played football for the prison team.
    In 1984, Best received a three-month prison sentence for drunk driving, assaulting a police officer and failing to answer bail.
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    In 1984 he made a fitness album with Mary Stävin called Shape Up and Dance.
    More Details Hide Details A biographical film entitled Best was released in May 2000, with John Lynch portraying George Best. Indie rock band The Wedding Present named their first album George Best, and featured Best on the cover wearing his red Manchester United kit. After his death, Brian Kennedy and Peter Corry released a single entitled George Best – A Tribute. Best features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series; he was included in the FIFA 16 Ultimate Team Legends. In 2007, GQ magazine named him as one of the 50 most stylish men of the past 50 years. When Best played football, salaries were a fraction of what top players earn today, but, with his pop star image and celebrity status, Best still earned a fortune. He lost almost all of it. When asked what happened to the money he had earned, Best quipped: "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds (women) and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
  • 1983
    He also was a guest player for an exhibition match between Dee Why Football Club and Manly Warringah held on 27 July 1983; Dee Why won the match 2–1, with Best having scored the winning goal.
    More Details Hide Details On 8 August 1988, a testimonial match was held for Best at Windsor Park. Among the crowd were Sir Matt Busby, Jimmy Murphy, and Bob Bishop, the scout who discovered Best, while those playing included Osvaldo Ardiles, Pat Jennings and Liam Brady. Best scored twice, one goal from outside the box, the other from the penalty spot. He was capped 37 times for Northern Ireland, scoring nine goals. Of his nine international goals four were scored against Cyprus and one each against Albania, England, Scotland, Switzerland and Turkey. On 15 May 1971, Best scored possibly the most famous "goal" of his career at Windsor Park in Belfast against England. As Gordon Banks, the English goalkeeper, released the ball in the air in order to kick the ball downfield, Best managed to kick the ball first, which sent the ball high over their heads and heading towards the open goal. Best outpaced Banks and headed the ball into the empty goal, but the goal was disallowed by referee Alistair Mackenzie.
    Best played in a friendly for Newry Town against Shamrock Rovers in August 1983, before ending his professional career exactly 20 years after joining Manchester United with a brief four-match stint playing for the Brisbane Lions in the Australian National Soccer League during the 1983 season.
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  • 1982
    Best was considered briefly by manager Billy Bingham for the 1982 World Cup, but at the age of 36, with his football skills dulled by age and drink (and five years having passed since his last cap), he was not selected for the Northern Ireland squad.
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    In late 1982, Bournemouth manager Don Megson signed the 36-year-old Best for the Third Division side, and he remained there until the end of the 1982–83 season, when he retired from football at the age of 37.
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  • 1981
    After failing to agree terms with Bolton Wanderers in 1981, he was invited as a guest player and played three matches for two Hong Kong First Division teams (Sea Bee and Rangers) in 1982.
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    His son Calum Best was born in 1981 from his first marriage.
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  • 1978
    Best married Angela MacDonald-Janes on 24 January 1978 at Candlelight Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, having met in the United States when Best was playing for the Los Angeles Aztecs. Their son, Calum, was born in 1981, but they separated the following year and divorced in 1986.
    More Details Hide Details His niece by marriage is actress Samantha Janus, who is the daughter of Angie MacDonald-Janes' brother.
    Best's mother Anne died from alcoholism-related cardiovascular disease in 1978, at the age of 55.
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  • 1976
    His time with the "Cottagers" is particularly remembered for a match against Hereford United on 25 September 1976 in which he tackled his own teammate, and old drinking mate, Rodney Marsh.
    More Details Hide Details Best stated later in life that he enjoyed his time most while at Craven Cottage, despite not winning any honours. Best played for three clubs in the United States: Los Angeles Aztecs, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and later San Jose Earthquakes; he also played for the Detroit Express on a European tour. Best revelled in the anonymity the United States afforded him after England and was a success on the field, scoring 15 goals in 24 games in his first season with the Aztecs and named as the NASL's best midfielder in his second. He and manager Ken Adam opened "Bestie's Beach Club" (now called "The Underground" after the London subway system) in Hermosa Beach, California in the 1970s, and continued to operate it until the 1990s. Best caused a stir when he returned to the UK to play for the Scottish club Hibernian. The club was suffering a decline in fortunes and was heading for relegation from the Premier Division, before Best was signed on a "pay per play" basis after the club chairman, Tom Hart, received a tip-off from an Edinburgh Evening News reporter that he was available. Even though Best failed to save Hibs from relegation, gates increased dramatically, and the attendance quadrupled for his first match at Easter Road. One infamous incident saw Best initially sacked by Hibs after he went on a massive drinking session with the French rugby team, who were in Edinburgh to play Scotland.
    He had a brief resurgence in form with Second Division club Fulham in 1976–77, showing that, although he had lost some of his pace, he retained his skills.
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  • 1975
    Best had a brief spell at Cork Celtic in December 1975 and January 1976.
    More Details Hide Details He made his League of Ireland debut against Drogheda United at Flower Lodge on 28 December. He played only three league games, the others against Bohemians and Shelbourne, but despite attracting big crowds he failed to score or impress. Being on a rolling contract with Cork his failure to show for a game saw him being dropped and subsequently leaving the club.
  • 1973
    He opened a nightclub called Slack Alice on Bootle Street in Manchester in 1973 and owned restaurants in the city including Oscars, on the site of the old Waldorf Hotel.
    More Details Hide Details He also owned fashion boutiques, in partnership with Mike Summerbee.
  • 1972
    He was playing at inside left (wearing the number 10) in 1972 when he famously walked out on United the first time but was back in the number 11 for the autumn of 1973 before leaving for good.
    More Details Hide Details Best even wore the number 9 jersey once for United, with Bobby Charlton injured, on 22 March 1969 at Old Trafford, scoring the only goal in a 1–0 win over Sheffield Wednesday. In total Best made 470 appearances for Manchester United in all competitions from 1963 to 1974, and scored 179 goals. Over the next decade he went into an increasingly rapid decline, drifting between several clubs, including spells in South Africa, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, Scotland, and Australia. Playing only five competitive matches for Jewish Guild in South Africa, Best endured criticism for missing several training sessions. During his short time there, he was the main draw attracting thousands of spectators to the matches.
  • 1971
    As a left winger, where he played exclusively in his debut season and nearly all of the 1971–72 campaign, he wore the number 11.
    More Details Hide Details Best wore the number 8 shirt at inside right on occasion throughout the 1960s, but for more than half of his matches during 1970–71.
    However he was also sent off against Chelsea, was the subject of death threats, and failed to turn up for training for a whole week in January as he instead spent his time with Miss Great Britain 1971, Carolyn Moore.
    More Details Hide Details On 17 November, he was the subject of Eamonn Andrews's This Is Your Life when he was surprised at a central London restaurant. He would be the subject for a second time in 2003 when Michael Aspel surprised him at Teddington Studios. With 27 goals in 54 appearances, Best finished as the club's top-scorer for the sixth – and final – consecutive season. Best then announced his retirement from football, but nevertheless turned up for pre-season training, and continued to play. United's decline continued in the 1972–73 season, as Best was part of the 'old guard clique' that barely talked to the newer, less talented players. Frustrated with the club's decline, Best went missing in December to party at the London nightclubs. He was suspended, and transfer-listed at a value of £300,000. After O'Farrell was replaced as manager by Tommy Docherty, Best announced his retirement for a second time. He resumed training on 27 April.
  • 1970
    Best hit 23 goals, including an FA Cup record six goals in an 8–2 win over Northampton Town in a mud-bath at the County Ground on 7 February 1970.
    More Details Hide Details Best's sixth goal saw him go one on one with Northampton goalkeeper Kim Book. Best made a feint to go right which put Book on his backside, before he went left and walked the ball into the net. Of the goal Book said: "I remember thinking George was going to go one way, but he dropped his shoulder and went the other, and by then I was already on the deck. He was just too good for me." Best's six goal performance earned him an invitation to No 10 Downing Street from UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who had also regularly written fan letters to him. In 2002 the British public voted Best's record breaking performance #26 in the list of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments. Busby returned as manager in December 1970, though the 1970–71 season also ended without a trophy. Best began to get into trouble with his discipline: he was fined by the Football Association for receiving three yellow cards for misconduct, and he was suspended by United for two weeks after missing his train to Stamford Bridge so as to spend a weekend with actress Sinéad Cusack.
  • 1968
    The 'holy trinity' of Best, Law and Charlton remained effective as ever in the 1968–69 campaign.
    More Details Hide Details However the club's new recruits were not up to scratch, as United dropped to 11th in the league before Busby announced his retirement. Best later said that "I increasingly had the feeling that I was carrying the team at times on the pitch." He scored 22 goals in 55 games, though only he and Denis Law scored more than six league goals. In the Intercontinental Cup, fans and players alike looked forward to seeing United take on Argentine opposition Estudiantes de La Plata over the course of two legs. However Best said "no one tackled harder or dirtier than this Argentinian team" as a 1–0 defeat at the Estadio Camilo Cichero was followed by a 1–1 draw at Old Trafford. In the home tie, Best was kicked and spat on by José Hugo Medina, and both players were sent off after Best reacted with a punch. You know, I'm on one side of the street, George Best is on the other. United improved slightly under new boss Wilf McGuinness, but still only managed an eighth-place finish in the 1969–70 season.
    Best also won the Ballon d'Or in 1968 after receiving more votes than Bobby Charlton, Dragan Džajić and Franz Beckenbauer.
    More Details Hide Details This meant that he had won the three major honours in club football at the age of just 22 (the league title, European Cup, and European Player of the Year award). All manner of men have tried to intimidate him.
  • 1965
    However United failed to win any major honours in the 1965–66 season, and Best was injured from 26 March onwards with a twisted knee following a bad tackle from a Preston North End player.
    More Details Hide Details However United staff claimed it was light ligament damage so as to keep Best on the field for the rest of the campaign. He had little faith in the United medical staff, and so he secretly saw Glentoran's physiotherapist, who readjusted his ligaments in a painful procedure. His last game of the season, his knee strapped-up, came on 13 April, and ended in a 2–0 defeat to Partizan Belgrade at Partizan Stadium. The 1966–67 season was again successful, as Manchester United claimed the league title by four points. Best stated that "if the championship was decided on home games we would win it every season. This time our away games made the difference. We got into the right frame of mind." An ever-present all season long, he scored ten goals in 45 games. He then helped the "Red Devils" to share the Charity Shield with a 3–3 draw with FA Cup winners Tottenham Hotspur; it was the first game to be broadcast in colour on British television.
    He scored the opening goal of the 1965 FA Charity Shield at Old Trafford, which ended in a 2–2 draw with Liverpool.
    More Details Hide Details The rising star of English football, Best was catapulted to superstar status at the age of 19 when he scored two goals in a European Cup quarter-final match against Benfica at the Estádio da Luz on 9 March 1966. The Portuguese media dubbed him "O Quinto Beatle", "the fifth Beatle" in English, and on the team's return to England Best was photographed in his new sombrero with the headline, "El Beatle". His talent and showmanship made him a crowd and media favourite, and he went from being headline news in the back pages to the front pages. Other nicknames included the "Belfast Boy", and he was often referred to as Georgie, or Geordie in his native Belfast.
  • 1964
    Though opponents would often use rough play to try to stifle his technical ability, Busby ensured that "fierce, sometimes brutal" training sessions left Best well used to coping with tough challenges. In the 1964–65 season, his first full season as a first team regular, Best helped Manchester United to claim the league title.
    More Details Hide Details A 1–0 victory at Elland Road proved decisive as the title race came down to goal average between the "Red Devils" and bitter rivals Leeds United; Leeds did manage to gain some measure of revenge though by knocking Manchester United out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage. Over the course of the campaign Best contributed 14 goals in 59 competitive games.
    That same season, Best was a part of the Manchester United side that won the 1964 FA Youth Cup, the sixth FA Youth Cup won under the management of Jimmy Murphy, and the first since the 1958 Munich air disaster.
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  • 1963
    The first match at Old Trafford after Best's death was a League Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion, the club against which he made his debut for Manchester United in 1963.
    More Details Hide Details The match, which United won, was preceded by tributes from former team-mate Sir Bobby Charlton. Best's son Calum and former team-mates, surviving members from the West Brom team which he played against in his debut, all joined the current United squad on the pitch for a minute's silence, during which fans in every seat held aloft pictures of Best, which were given out before the match.
    Manager Matt Busby then kept Best in the team, and by the end of the 1963–64 season, he had made 26 appearances, scoring six goals.
    More Details Hide Details Manchester United finished second, four points behind Liverpool. They also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where a defeat to West Ham United cost Best the chance to break a record; in the final Preston North End's Howard Kendall became the youngest ever player in a FA Cup Final – he shared the same birthday as Best.
    Best made his First Division debut, aged 17, on 14 September 1963 against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford in a 1–0 victory.
    More Details Hide Details He then dropped back into the reserves, before scoring his first goal for the first team in his second appearance in a 5–1 win over Burnley on 28 December.
  • 1957
    In 1957, at the age of 11, the academically gifted Best passed the 11 plus and went to Grosvenor High School, but he soon played truant as the school specialised in rugby.
    More Details Hide Details Best then moved to Lisnasharragh Secondary School, reuniting him with friends from primary school and allowing him to focus on football. He grew up supporting Glentoran and Wolverhampton Wanderers. At the age of 15, Best was discovered in Belfast by Manchester United scout Bob Bishop, whose telegram to United manager Matt Busby read: "I think I've found you a genius." His local club Glentoran had previously rejected him for being "too small and light". Best was subsequently given a trial and signed up by United's chief scout Joe Armstrong. His first time moving to the club, Best quickly became homesick and stayed for only two days before going back home to Northern Ireland. He returned to Manchester and spent two years as an amateur, as English clubs were not allowed to take Northern Irish players on as apprentices. He was given a job as an errand boy on the Manchester Ship Canal, allowing him to train with the club twice a week.
  • 1946
    He was born on 22 May 1946 and grew up in Cregagh, east Belfast.
    More Details Hide Details Best was brought up in the Free Presbyterian faith. His father was a member of the Orange Order and as a boy George carried the strings of the banner in his local Cregagh lodge. In his autobiography, Best mentioned how important the order was to his family. Best had four sisters, Carol, Barbara, Julie and Grace, and one brother, Ian (Ian Busby Best). Best's father died on 16 April 2008, at the age of 88, in the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Northern Ireland.
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