Monday, October 03, 2005
George Best in Manchester United team colours, c1970.
I've read with great sadness that George Best is in intensive care with some kind of infection. I hope he makes a speedy recovery but the signs are not good. Since his liver transplant a few years back, he's reverted to drinking, suffered a humiliating prosecution for driving under the influence and his wife has left him. Overall it's been a sad, undignified and very public descent from superstardom. To non-UK readers, George emerged as a brilliant football (soccer) talent in the 1960s and 70s. He was the first celebrity sportsman in Britain and lived the high-life to the full. But although the media came to be obsessed with stories about his partying and checkered love life, where he really entertained was on the football field. George had masterful ball control and his ability to dribble through massed ranks of defenders was nothing short of breathtaking. He was certainly one of the finest players of his gereration and many pundits consider him to be an equal of Pele.
So, George, get well soon. After all you've got to love a bloke who can say, "...I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered..." !