George Best: Forever Young

8 Aug

George Best celebrates his 26th birthday in Marbella, Spain

Georgie Best, probably the greatest footballer I ever saw in person. Mercurial, unpredictable and a Sixties icon. In later years, I often picked him up in the taxi, always sober and always painfully modest. I’d always afford him some privacy but that self-control evaporated when he got out at his home and I declined payment of the fare out of gratitude for the pleasure he’d given me, even though he’d tormented my Chelsea FC, especially the time at Old Trafford I saw him ride attempted GBH by Chopper Harris and then body-swerve Peter Bonetti in goal to reward himself with a tap in. With that swerve, 5,000 fans paid to get in again! 

George would always walk away embarassed with the fare in his hand and I’d weep briefly at the tortured beauty who’d become easy headline fodder for lazy, mediocre journos in search of their moment in the sun at George’s expense as alcohol proceeded to close his beautiful frame down.

Thank you George for the pleasure you gave us all. Present players, look away in shame, the press would today only speak of him, Lionel who?


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