Georgie Best, superstar
The George Best story
effectively ended many years ago, his often sad and embarrasing appearances on Sky Soccer Saturday
only prolonging the pain to his legions of fans and admirers. But football fans are a forgiving lot and although often a sad sight to look at, my own memories of the best football player of his generation will not be off drunken outbursts or gaunt photographs but those of sublime skill, the disallowed goal against Gordon Banks and trickery with a football that most mere mortals can only dream off.
I have a couple of personal memories of 'Bestie'. One was as a kid in the late 70's watching him play against Charlton for Fulham. He was past his best but amazingly only 31-years old, his every touch drew gasps from the crowd who had basically only come to watch the Irishman, who is undoubtably the best player never to grace a World Cup Finals.
The second memory is was one of legend amongst myself and some friends. I was sat one Saturday lunchtime in a Kensington pub with some friends (still wearing our suits from the night before - its a long story!). Best walked in and sat at the bar, looking worse than us. The next one of us up to the bar offered him a drink. The barman said that: "Mr Best only drunk champagne,"
so champagne it was. He looked up and gave us a wave before he downed it.
Later, the pub payphone rang, which we were sitting next too. A pal answered it and it was a woman "looking for George."
We called him over and he took the phone. He perched on the end of our table whilst clearing taking a earbashing. He last words were that he would be home soon. He promptly went back to the bar and ordered a drink. Later two different women appeared in the pub and sat alongside him at the bar. Both admiration and pity was shared amongst us mid 20-year olds.
A hotel waiter delivering a bottle of vintage champagne and smoked salmon sandwiches to Best's luxury hotel room once enquired "So, Mr Best, tell me - where did it all go wrong?"
There was £20,000 in cash scattered on the bed alongside the reigning Miss Universe! It was a good question.