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Football's Greatest Players.George Best
Simply the Best
Best was his name and he was the best.A remarkably gifted player and extremely brave, George was a star who would have shone in any era of football.In fact he was footballs original superstar and became an icon in the sixties and as famous and notorious as anyone on the planet.However many people believe this football genius never fulfilled his extraordinary talent
The Belfast boy made his debut for the Red Devils at 17 years of age and scored his first goal in his next match against Burnley. It was obvious in these early days that George not only had sublime skill but also astonishing balance and a wicked turn of pace.
In his second season he won the championship with United and followed it up with another in 1967 .A year later George's greatest prize came when they beat Eusabio's Benfica 4-1 at Wembley. Best scored An exquisite solo-goal to gave Man Utd. the lead, he scored 32 goals that season and was named Footballer of the Year and European Footballer of the Year, aged just 22.These were the last medals George ever won.
Best played 37 Internationals for Northern Ireland scoring 9 goals
The Best Way
George had problems on and off the pitch,missing training ,matches,fines and suspensions chequered his career.In one match ,he returned from a four week ban and scored six goals against Northampton in a fith round FA cup tie. Best said" I was so embarrassed I played the last 20 minutes at left back.George did not think he had problems with women,alcohol and gambling ,as he was to say:
His playboy image was too much for the then United manager Tommy Docherty,he wanted rid of the unreliable star , and George quit Manchester for good in 1974 aged 27.His football continued with LA Aztecs, Cork Celtic, Hibernian and Fulham before his playing days finally fizzled out as he made his last appearance for Bournemouth in 1983 and retired at 37 years of age.
After the Game
After his playing days were over George continued to work as a Sky TV pundit and writing on the game, he was still popular and appeared on TV chat shows and a documentaries about his life and career. However alcohol and women continued to play a big part in his life, and was in the news mostly for the wrong reasons.
Like his football career Bests life ended prematurely on the 25th of November 2005. He was buried ion a dismal and desperately grey December morning in Stormont. There was live TV coverage of the funeral, yet a staggering 100,000 people came and stood to honour the cortege.They came to pay their respects and thank him for being who he was, and that's all they ever wanted him to be.
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