25 November 2005

Best

In the United Kingdom, this will always be remembered as the day on which George Best died. He was perhaps the most naturally gifted and exciting footballer that these islands have ever produced. Back in the late sixties/early seventies he was a Beatlelike playboy - partying, boozing and womanising as if there was no tomorrow. He said that he used to go missing a lot - "Miss UK, Miss World, Miss America..." and he also said that he spent all of his money on booze, women and fast cars - "the rest I just squandered"!
On the international stage, George was of course handicapped by the fact that he was only entitled to represent little Northern Ireland though at club level he became a living legend and European Cup winner with Manchester United. When George was on the ball, running at defenders, it was pure poetry.
Essentially Best was a shy Irish lad, good at football but ill-prepared for the trappings of stardom. I feel sorry that booze destroyed his liver and eventually killed him but glad that as a young man he often lived life with devil-may-care relish, bedding beautiful women, partying till dawn and drinking like a fish. I am sure he had many laughs. Who wants to live the safe life - the "clean and in between the sheets life" - dying at eighty in an old folks home, memory fading, body failing. He only had fifty nine years but he made his mark. There really was only one George Best and may he rest in peace now that the game is truly over.

2 comments:

  1. I love the description you give at the end, York. I agree with your sentiment. I think most of us would rather go out with a bang - being known for being randy and happy and spunky - than to die a quiet, nonchalant death as a feeble and unimportant aside.

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  2. Very well said. I remember watching a kind of documentary thing he made of his life a few years back. It was an eye opening account of his life first hand from the man who made things happen.

    May he rest in Peace.

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